Survival outcomes for cancer are poorer than for other diseases because symptoms are often not reported early on. This gives the cancer precious time to progress, reducing the effectiveness of treatments. This is especially evident with lung cancer, which presents a number of vague symptoms that are often incorrectly attributed to less serious diseases.
According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, “There are many bodily sensations that are often non-specific, not easily understood, and often initially recognized by the affected individual as a sign of lung cancer. doesn’t go”.
This often leads to late diagnosis, warn the researchers.
To address this problem, they sought to establish whether certain physical sensations are more common than others in cancer patients prior to diagnosis.
Although it is difficult to attribute physical sensations to cancer, by identifying patterns among cancer patients, it strengthens the case that a given physical sensation is a consequence of cancer.
Read more: Cancer warning: Pain in four areas of the body may indicate potentially fatal disease
According to Cancer Research UK, common symptoms include weight loss, fatigue (tiredness) or unexplained pain.
how to respond
The NHS states: “Although it is unlikely to be cancer, it is important to speak to a GP so they can get tested.”
As the health body notes, early detection of cancer means it is easier to treat.
“If your GP suspects cancer, they will refer you to a specialist – usually within two weeks.”
Are you at risk?
Anyone can get cancer, but there are certain factors that put you at higher risk.
Having one or more risk factors does not mean that you will get cancer. Also, having no risk factors doesn’t mean you won’t get cancer.
“For most people, increasing age is the biggest risk factor for developing cancer,” says Macmillan Cancer Support.
The biggest modifiable risk factor for cancer is smoking – in the UK, one in four cancer deaths (more than 25 per cent) are due to smoking, warns the charity.
“Breathing in other people’s smoke (passive smoking) also increases your risk of developing cancer,” Health Body warns.
What’s more, being overweight increases the risk of several types of cancer, including cancers of the bowel, kidney, womb and gullet (esophagus), it says.
A body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9 means you are overweight.
BMI is a measure of whether you are a healthy weight for your height. It is the most widely used method to check whether your weight is healthy or not.