December 10, 2022

Cancer in Women: What to Look for and How to Prepare Yourself in the Worst Case Scenario

3 min read

melanoma diagnosis. the doctor examines the patient's moleEarly detection can be the most powerful weapon against cancer, and so knowing what to look for is imperative. Cancer isn’t prejudiced and anyone can be diagnosed with it. Women especially should be conscientious of certain signs that could imply breast cancer.

There are multiple symptoms that every woman should know.

Breast abnormalities

There are many changes that can occur in women’s breasts that may signify the presence of cancer. Breast cancer is a common form of cancer in women, due to an increased amount of IGF receptors. IGF receptors cause cancer cells to divide, and one study noted that the IGF receptor is found 43 times more on breast cancer cells than healthy breast tissue. Any significant changes should be brought up with your doctor, but there are specific signs to watch out for.

  • Lumps
  • Inverted nipples
  • Nipple discharge
  • Redness or irritation on or around the nipple and breast skin area.

These may indicate breast cancer, and you should consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Bloating

While bloating is common during menstruation, it can also be a sign of cancer if it doesn’t go away after a few weeks. Regular bloating could indicate breast, colon, gastrointestinal, ovarian, pancreatic, or uterine cancer and you should be examined by your doctor if your bloating lasts for more than two weeks.

Changes in Skin

This symptom is something that everyone should be on the lookout for. It’s important to check yourself regularly for any changes in your skin such as the appearance of a new blemish or a difference in an existing one. If your existing blemish turns a different color, changes shape in any way, or gets bigger or smaller, then it could be a sign of skin cancer. If you notice any of these signs you need to consult your doctor right away.

Diagnosed?

Being diagnosed with cancer can be world-crushing news, but if you were able to get treatment in the early stages then you have a much better chance. There are many aspects of cancer treatment that you should prepare yourself for, financially, physically, and mentally.

Cancer treatment can include a variety of medical expenses for things like:

  • Lab tests
  • Clinic visits
  • X-rays, CT scans, etc
  • Radiation
  • Drugs
  • Hospital visits
  • Surgery

Being diagnosed with cancer is actually a multi-front battle. Patients have to beat cancer physically, get through treatments mentally, and cover everything financially.

Fortunately, advancements in technology are helping patients get the emotional support they need. Linda Wenger of LUNGevity Foundation says, “Online patient communities can be a valuable tool for those in rural areas and patients who are not adequately supported in their communities. Social platforms have become a powerful forum for patients to advocate for themselves and to raise awareness of the causes they support.”

A to a survey conducted in 2017 by Kaufman Hall, one-quarter of all United States hospitals and health systems are attempting to decrease their costs by up to 5% in the next five years. So the financial front might get a little bit easier to overcome as well.

Being vigilant in personal check-ups and doctor visits is crucial in staying one step ahead of cancer. If you experience any new or unusual symptoms, consult your doctor right away.

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