Cancer survivors share symptoms they noticed before diagnosis

Cancer grows silently
It is not until it’s too late, cancer victims detect the symptoms. A small lump or a pain which are mostly the early signs of cancer are mostly overlooked partly because of our body’s ability to endure and partly because these signs are associated with several other diseases.

This negligence gives a good scope for cancer to grow within us day by day to such an extent that it becomes difficult to recover without taking medication.

“It wasn’t diagnosed until the tumor was large enough to paralyze me”
“I’ll have to answer for my mother, because I’ve been told my spinal cord cancer was present from birth. It wasn’t diagnosed until the tumor was large enough to paralyze me,” writes Amorette Kitsa on Quora.

Describing her journey as a toddler Kitsa writes, “My parents were understandably devastated. On top of their grief, they noticed that I was extremely bad at toddling. I was uncoordinated, clumsy, incontinent. I was taken to the pediatrician, who told my mom that all children develop differently and I was fine. I went home, tried to take a step, and fell on my face. My mom got used to setting me in one spot on the floor and finding I hadn’t moved an hour later, which is obviously pretty unusual for a kid that age.”

“My first memory of the cancer was when I was at my grandmother’s house, hanging an ornament on the tree, and I turned to my mother and told her my neck hurt. The next pediatrician visit was downright nasty. I’m told a finger was shaken in my face as I was lectured about how selfish I was,” she writes.

She adds: My parents decided they’d had enough. They bundled me into the car and drove me to a Children’s Hospital two hours away, where alarmed doctors did a myelogram. My spinal cord tumor was so large the myelogram dye couldn’t even distribute evenly around it.

Luckily I was matched up with a brilliant young neurosurgeon who was just out of school. I received experimental radiation therapy that shrank the inoperable tumor into something I could literally live with. He shooed aside the short estimate on my lifespan and asked my parents if they wanted to buy some Girl Scout cookies from his daughter. Doubtful, my parents fretted that I would be gone by the time the cookies came in. “Ridiculous,” he boomed. “Of course she’ll be alive. And I’ll buy cookies from her when she’s old enough.”

And I lived. And he did.

His daughter the Girl Scout, a few years older than me, is now a neurosurgeon herself. He retired to mentor her.

“My husband became a man filled with unexplained verbal rage”
On her husband getting diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Cherie Spillman Livingston writes: My husband was a big teddy bear of a man with a very laid back, easygoing, loving personality and avoided any/all conflict.

Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, his personality changed and he became a man filled with unexplained verbal rage, but only at home and only toward me, but in front of our teenagers. We immediately started marriage counseling, and the counselor said I wasn’t physically safe living with him, so after 20+ years of marriage I moved out of our home.”

Cherie adds: About 11 months after his bizarre behavior began he called and asked me what to do — he was itching all over his body — and after eliminating all possibilities of an allergic reaction, I asked him to go to our family doctor the next morning. I was out of state at a family funeral or I would’ve gone with him.

“After his appointment he called and told me the type of tests our doctor had run. Some part of me knew that what the doctor was looking for was very serious. I asked him to move back home so we could face this together and he did,” adds Cherie.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“An irritating dull pain in the middle of my chest”
Another Quora user writes about how a dull pain in the middle of the chest which he kept on ignoring turned out to be Thymic Carcinoma.

The user says he was diagnosed with cancer during a pandemic when the country was in lockdown.

“An irritating dull pain in the middle of my chest? It was mild, it was pretty random comes and goes unexpectedly, so I wasn’t overly concerned about it. Any-who, it wasn’t until a couple months later, that it really started to bother me, so I emailed my doctor, she ordered X-rays and blood work, a few days later, she emailed me back and said that everything came back good, no evidence of a heart attack, and the X-rays didn’t reveal anything abnormal?

A month goes by and one night I could not sleep from the pain, it was getting worse, while I’m driving to work the next morning, I decide I’m going to ER and figure out what’s really going on here. So more X-rays and more blood work, the ER doctor comes to visit me in my room and tells me no heart attack but they found a mass in my chest, and I thought, well that’s strange, how could one have grown so quickly in just 1 month?,” he writes.

“They immediately took a biopsy of the mass, but the pandemic started a national emergency and the country was in lock down, so I didn’t know the results of my biopsy for about 2 mos. Eventually an Oncologist contacted me and said I had Thymic Carcinoma, it had spread to my left lung and around my heart and has infected major arteries and nerves in that area, and that it was reaching my lymph nodes and that treatment and surgery was urgent,” he adds.

“Blood in your pee could be a sign of cancer”
Tummy trouble such as discomfort or diarrhea that lasts for three weeks or more, or blood in your pee, could be a sign of cancer, explains English general practitioner, presenter and writer Dr Hilary Jones.

Blood during urination is a very common sign of bladder cancer.

As per experts at Mayo Clinic, neuroendocrine tumors, colon cancer, lymphoma, medullary thyroid cancer and pancreatic cancers cause diarrhea.

Diarrhea, particularly, is very remotely connected to cancer. A layman’s perception on cancer is mostly associated with lumps and pain but not a gut related issue like diarrhea.

Cancer is a silent disease and emerges only when it is too late. However, there are subtle signs associated with it, which if noticed early can help you get medical help easily.

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