Health, LIVE

Cancer Prevention; Self Examination Tips for Women

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We all hate cancer but the embarrassing position it puts some women makes it hard to achieve early diagnosis and treatment. A lot of us feel uncomfortable during medical examinations, conducting a physical examination on a female is one of the most awkward moments for male doctors. But that moment is even more awkward for the female who is torn between reassuring the male doctor to go on with the examination because she needs it and shouting caution in her mind so that no untoward act goes unnoticed.

Once a woman presents sick to a doctor, the least he can do is ask you questions answer your questions and examine. For the doctor, it is a call of duty which could lead to litigations if neglected. Apart from routine medical checkups, screening, and antenatal sessions; women can limit the awkward moments. The process of self-examination may not be too easy but with the right information, it could be simple. Every woman should know some of the basic things to watch out for and avoid too many hospital visits. E-libraries and information sources are now at our fingertips, we do ourselves a great disservice if we remain ignorant by choice.

Cancers have gained widespread popularity because of their high mortality rate and the reduction in quality of life for those trying to fight it. In as much as the specific causes of cancers are not known, there are certain predisposing/risk factors. Thus, it is only wise to avoid the avoidable and be sensitive to body changes that may be indicative of something wrong. By knowing what to do, what not to do and what to look out for, especially for those with a family history of cancers; the occurrence can reduce, treatment is commenced faster, much is achieved and the prognosis is better.

General Symptoms of All Cancers;

  1. Weight loss
  2. Early satiety
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. A lump/mass somewhere. (which is not always the case)

 Common cancers in women and their specific symptoms;

Breast cancer: a lump, usually not painful which progressive enlargement, discoloration of the skin around the lump and discharge from the nipple which could be bloody. Cervical cancer: bleeding from the vagina which is different from the normal menstrual flow, abnormal vaginal discharge, and painful sexual intercourse.

Endometrial cancer (uterus): post-menopausal bleeding.Ovarian cancer: abdominal swelling and pain, bloated feeling, abnormal vaginal discharge, and constipation.

Ovarian cancer: abdominal swelling and pain, bloated feeling, abnormal vaginal discharge, and constipation.Lung cancer:

Lung cancer: a cough, bloody sputum, chest pain, breathlessness.Adding the specifics to the general gives a good idea of what could be wrong. Although, these symptoms could be vague and could be for some other disease which could not be so life threatening.

Adding the specifics to the general gives a good idea of what could be wrong. Although, these symptoms could be vague and could be for some other disease which could not be so life threatening. Other things to bear in mind; Smoking is a risk factor for almost all cancers and even other debilitating diseases. Drinking alcohol excessively is not helpful. Avoid undue exposure to radiation, ‘Uncontrolled’, unprotected sex with multiple sexual partners increases the risk of cervical cancer. We do not have power over some things. But the things we do have power over, we are obliged not to waste such power.

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Eunice Oladeji

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