Dr. Geeth Monnappa, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Fortis Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore
Cancers in women can cause a sudden upheaval in their lives and that of their families. Cancers put the health care system under tremendous pressure due to the nature of the disease, prolonged treatment, and regular checks that follow.
With increasing numbers of patients being diagnosed with cancer globally, it’s vital to know the symptoms and signs that appear early on and initiate treatment, thus greatly improving the chance of survival.
- Breast lump:
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, affecting around 2.1 million women each year.
The earliest symptoms of breast cancer are often better felt than seen, hence being aware of one’s breast by regular examination by self or a clinician, can help detect sudden changes in the breast that warrant further investigation.
The most common sign noticed by women early on in breast cancer is a painless lump in the breast or in the armpit.
Any such mass with or without changes in the skin of the breasts, the shape of the nipple, or bloody discharge from the nipples should warrant a visit to the doctor for further evaluation.
- Heavy periods:
Bleeding that lasts more than a week or heavy flow in comparison to one’s previous cycles should be brought to the notice of a gynecologist for further evaluation.
- Irregular bleeding patterns
Bleeding after sexual intercourse or bleeding/ spotting on and off in between periods could be a sign of uterine or cervical cancer and needs prompt evaluation.