Cancer is the disease that we all fear the most. Dr. Oz said that 30% of all cancer cases are signaled by pain first. Want some more scary statistics? Did you know that 1 in 3 women will get cancer at some point during their life… and men have an even higher risk (50%) of getting cancer. So what pain symptoms should we watch out for to identify cancer early?
Lung Cancer – 160,000 people a year die from lung cancer. Dr. Ilana Cass, an Oncologist, said that 20% of American adults smoke, but even nonsmokers are at risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, 1/3 of people who have lung cancer and don’t smoke are women… so women should pay special attention to these early signs of lung cancer:
1. Painful Breathing
2. Coughing Up Blood
The reason you experience difficulty or pain when you breathe is because the cancer grows around your airways, making it hard to move lungs in the air. Dr. Oz’s helper said that the cancerous lung felt kind of like thick gristle on a steak. If you have these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, seek medical attention.
Colon Cancer – You are in the high risk category for colon cancer if you are over 50, have a family history of colon cancer and / or have inflammatory bowel disease. If you fall into any of these categories, schedule a colonoscopy! The pains associated with colon cancer are:
1. Painful Constipation
2. Belly Abdominal Cramps
3. Painful Gas
The pain caused by colon cancer can be very severe, because a mass (the cancerous tumor) is obstructing the colon. You may also notice blood in your stool and your stool may be thinner (like a pencil).
Ovarian Cancer – You have a 90% chance of surviving if you catch ovarian cancer early, this is huge!!! So definitely keep an eye out for any of the following pain symptoms:
1. Painful Bloating
2. Pelvic and Abdominal Pain
2. Can’t Empty Your Bladder
Dr. Cass said that it is a similar feeling to having a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), where you have pain when you urinate, and you feel like you have to go again right after you pee – it is a sense of pressure or a feeling like you aren’t completely emptying your bladder. Also, look for blood in your urine.
Brain Cancer – Dr. Oz gave a powerful demonstration on brain cancer using a grapefruit. Your skull is like the thick skin of the grapefruit (it is there to protect and pad your brain), and the pink juicy fruit is like your soft and delicate brain tissue. If you cut a grapefruit in half, you will see that the grapefruit fits snuggly and perfectly inside of the grapefruit skin. If you try to squeeze a small red ball (like a cancerous tumor) into the fruit of the grapefruit (like your brain), your brain has to herniate to make room for the tumor, liquids start to come out and drain, and tissue begins to die. The pain symptoms of brain cancer are:
1. Chronic Morning Headaches
2. Nausea and Vomiting
3. Loss of Sensation in Limbs
So how do you know if your headache is brain cancer? According to Dr. Ilana Cass, if you are having a throbbing headache, it usually is not cancer. Look for the triad of nausea, vomiting and early morning headaches (or headaches that wake you up in the middle of the night).
Multiple Myeloma – (or Bone Cancer) occurs when white blood cells are going to place that they shouldn’t be going to (like the bone and bone marrow). 11,000 people in the US have multiple myeloma. In addition to frequent infections, look for these pain symptoms:
1. Bone Pain
2. Unexplained Fractures
3. Excessive Fatigue