Cancer symptoms: Top 14 early signs to look out for
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Cancer results from the loss of control over cells that run rampant and trigger the growth of tumours. But as the cells evolve, so does their ability to spread, making them become difficult to treat. Fortunately, warning signs are rife with cancer. Warning signs that the disease is spreading, may be signalled in the colour of your urine.
More than a third of people will have to contend with cancer at some stage in their life.
Caught early, the disease is highly survivable, but many cancers acquire the ability to spread to neighbouring regions in the body through metastasis.
At this stage, the disease can become resistant to drugs, which significantly increases the odds of death.
But survivability is improving, and much of this success is owed to earlier detection of the disease, and knowing the symptoms is critical to this.
READ MORE: Pancreatic cancer: Early symptoms that ‘often tend to get brushed off’ – ‘See your GP’
Monika Wassermann, MD at oliolusso, explained that some colours in urine could be indications that the body is becoming progressively diseased.
The expert explained: “Red or pink colourist urine can signal you have cancer.
“The two colours mean your urine harbours red blood cells, a big red flag for an infection, cancer or kidney disease.”
When the pink and red urine are indicative of cancer, it is usually an indication that there’s a tumour residing in the bladder.
The colour of urine only changes once the tumour produces high enough levels of blood.
A campaign recently launched by the NHS, known as the “Help Us, Help You” campaign, warned that the appearance of blood in urine could be a sign of cancer even if it appears “just once”.
Despite the alarming sight of blood in urine, the symptoms are usually painless.
How is bladder cancer diagnosed?
Bladder cancer is most often diagnosed after a person tells their doctor they’ve spotted blood in their urine, explains cancer.Net.
The test generally administered to patients to determine whether they have cancer is known as cytology, a test in which the urine is studied under the microscope.
It may also appear alongside other symptoms such as lower back pain on one side, loss of appetite and swelling in the feet.
But Cancer.Net explains that when blood appears in urine, it is usually an indication that the disease has already spread to other parts of the body.
So warning signs may vary from case to case, depending on how severely the tumour has metastasised.
If the disease spreads to the liver, for example, it may cause abdominal pain or jaundice, whereas cancer that has spread to the lungs is likely to cause a cough or shortness of breath.
But Miss Wasserman explains changes in urine colour aren’t always indicative of cancer.
She added: “Other colours including orange or blue, are not indicative or a serious condition.
“In most, they stem from consuming certain medications, including laxatives, antibiotics and antidepressants.
“Dark brown may signal extreme dehydration. If you take lots of fluids and the colour persists, odds are you have muscle breakdown or kidney failure.”
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