It might be a long time before someone suffering from cancer ever notices that they have it. It’s a common trope in many movies and TV Shows for a character to all of a sudden have cancer (examples like this would include drama like Breaking Bad or The Big C), and while it can seem quite dramatic, it is true that many people can go for years without knowing they have cancer.
This would raise the appropriate question of ‘What does cancer look like?’ The simple answer is ‘nothing peculiar’. The right is ‘it depends’. In this short blog post the details of how cancer looks on the inside and out will be talked about concisely.
Firstly let’s talk about how cancer looks on the inside. Imagine the cells in your body as a sponge. Each sponge works independently and concurrently with the other cells in your body to perform a task. Cancer cells start off as a mutation of these cells, so think of it as a sponge that is dirty or is too flushed. It absorbs too much and ruins itself, disabling from a primary function. If this mutation increases, other cells start to recognise this as the function and work together. When it grows in to a tumour, it becomes visible as being out of place in the body, but only when scanned. That’s why a simple x-ray is a great identifier of whether someone has a tumour as it is a noticeable irregularity. Of course noticing a lump on a scan requires further testing before being identifiable as cancer and shouldn’t be taken as a definite.
On the outside cancer is harder to spot. Tumours grow on the inside and work there because it is much easier to spread. There are common signs of expressed outwardly that can be an indication of someone having cancer. These can include fatigue, breathlessness, a major loss of appetite, nausea, changes in taste, depression and bowel control issues. One of the major indicators is hair loss, but this is a sign that someone is being treated for cancer, not that they simply have it. There are a few cancers which can visibly show. For example, if someone has neck or eye cancer, the lump can be seen just under the skin/eyelid in the same way a cyst would.
Now a lot of these symptoms can be controlled to a degree and will play a big role in helping anyone feel better. A lot of can come down to how someone goes about receiving treatment for cancer. If private treatment is something that is of interest, then please take a look at the London Oncology Clinic site at http://www.theloc.com/pursuing-excellence/care-tailored-to-your-lifestyle-and-needs/