No one wants to spend too much time thinking about the possibility that they or someone in their family could have to face the news that they have a cancer diagnosis. It is the kind of earth-shattering news that can turn your life upside down, and as a result, most of us tend to do our very best to ignore it. However, the statistics show that there will be an estimated 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses in the US alone in 2021, and the likelihood that we or our partner will have to face this illness is very high.
That is why it is so important to be prepared and to be aware that there are steps that we can take to both lower our chances of developing cancer and to detect it as quickly as possible to give ourselves the best chance of a healthy recovery. Cancer is not something that is best ignored. It pays to be proactive, and to be as proactive as possible as early as possible. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions to help give you some more information.
What Can I Do To Lower My Cancer Risk?
To start with, if you are a smoker, then the best thing that you can do to lower your risk of getting cancer is to quit as soon as possible. Smoking is one of the most harmful things that you can do to your body and there are many different health issues that are either caused or exacerbated by it.
If you are not a smoker, then there are still plenty of changes that you can make to your lifestyle that will make you less at risk. Obesity and being overweight can be a factor, so make sure that you are exercising for at least 30 minutes every day to keep your body in good shape. Other common risk factors include alcohol, and there are studies that show that red and processed meat are carcinogens too.
How Can I Spot Cancer Symptoms?
One of the most important checks that you can do at home is by looking for any unusual lumps or bumps on your skin. Women should be checking their breasts, men should be checking their testicles and looking under your armpits is also important. If you notice the appearance of a new mole, or if a mole has grown, raised, or otherwise changed shape, you should contact your doctor to get it checked.
There are other warning signs of cancer, which include sudden weight loss, any unusual bleeding or discharge, sores that won’t heal, changes in your bowel movements or your bladder function, changes in your skin, or a persistent nagging cough. Fatigue, pain, and fever are also classic signs that something is wrong.
However, cancer symptoms may not always make themselves known until the illness has progressed to a severe extent. That is why getting a regular MRI scan makes a lot of sense. An MRI scan looks at up to 14 organs and checks for cancer and other diseases. If you have questions about the procedure, such as how long does an MRI take, this guide from Ezra breaks down how it works and what you can expect. With locations across the US, Ezra can help you to get to grips with your healthcare options and give you greater peace of mind.
Is Cancer Hereditary?
This question has a slightly complicated answer, which is one of the reasons why it can be so difficult to predict who will suffer from cancer, and from what kind. There are certain types of cancer that are more likely to be passed on than others. If you have a close relative who suffered from breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or bowel cancer, then you are at a higher risk of suffering from the same condition. It is not a sure thing, but it is something that you need to be aware of. It is also important to note that the types of cancer that are not caused by inherited issues are more common. That means that you are more likely to develop cancer as a smoker than you are if you are a non-smoker with a parent who suffered from lung cancer.
What Should I Tell My Doctor?
As much as you can. If you are worried that you might be at risk, either because a close relative had or has cancer or because of your lifestyle, then it is important to talk to a doctor about your options. Make sure that you have your family’s medical history as this will help them to have a better understanding of where you are starting from.
It is very important that you be brutally honest with your doctor about whether you are a smoker, how much you drink in an average week if you are a drinker, and the type of diet you have. We can all be prone to sugar-coating our lifestyle when we think the doctor might tell us that we are getting something wrong, but when it comes to cancer, you don’t want to take any chances.