Why learning how to detect cancer early is critical.
Would you recognize a cancer symptom?
Cancer often first reveals itself as a subtle, yet persistent change to your normal health. Lots of people ignore or minimize health changes like these or accept them as their new normal. This gives cancer time to progress to advanced stages that are more difficult to treat and most difficult to cure. That’s why it’s important to understand how to recognize the early warning signs of cancer.
Why is a subtle and persistent health change the most common cancer symptom?
Cancer is a complex disease; there are over 100 different types of cancer. They start when one cell or a small group of cells begins to divide and multiply too much. These cells often form a tumor; it starts small but then continues to grow. In the next stages of growth, cancer cells may travel through your bloodstream to other organs where they form more tumors.
Some cancers grow slowly, others are more aggressive. Early stage cancers have not grown enough to cause major health changes. Instead, you notice subtle health changes that persist.
What causes cancer?
We know that some cancers are very likely caused by a person’s behaviors. For example, tobacco use can cause cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, bladder, kidneys, and many other organs. Spending a lot of time in the sun without protection or using tanning beds can cause skin cancer.
Ultimately, we don’t know exactly what causes most cancers. Some people who have no family history of cancer, lead healthy lives, and engage in low risk activities, get cancer. Whereas, some people with a family history of cancer, who engage in high risk activity (smoking/tanning etc.) might not get cancer. We just don’t know the exact reasons why.
What we do know is if you do get cancer, early detection is critical to treatment options and survival.
Only 5-10% of all cancers are linked to genes that are inherited from your parents.
Learn from us
“I learned that even if you’re not sure it is a health change, get it checked. I trusted my instincts, followed through with testing, and received an accurate diagnosis quickly.”Jennifer JayBreast Cancer At 37
“With both of us contributing to the process (my knowledge of my body and symptoms, and her medical knowledge) we were able to detect the cancer. I am grateful that my doctor kept pushing for answers and found the real cause.”Xan Harwood-KarlikPancreatic Cancer At 29
“Always ask your doctor when you should start to feel better – and if treatment doesn’t help, go back to the doctor and keep pushing for answers until you figure out what your body is trying to tell you.”Henry CarrBone Cancer At 17
“Chemotherapy isn’t fun, but when I look at the whole picture I’m glad I made the sacrifice. In the end it saved my life, which made any side effects totally worth it. ”Vanessa LavenLymphoma At 25
“Through this experience, I’ve learned how important it is to advocate for yourself...If you notice a subtle and persistent health change, share it with a doctor and stand up for yourself if you disagree with their diagnosis.”Matt CaliTesticular Cancer At 15
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