Thursday, May 9, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Don’t Be Scared, Just Be Aware

With one in two people receiving a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime, cancer is rapidly moving from being a taboo subject, into a commonly discussed and often shared experience, where we can relate, support and tackle the disease together.

While everyone is nervous about heading to the doctor to check an unusual lump, pain or symptom, it is vital that we all take responsibility for our health and make the appointment.

Countless studies have shown that when cancer is picked up in its early stages, not only the prognosis, but also the treatment options improve. Basically, your chances of survival increase dramatically with early detection.

The main message that health organisations are wishing to get across in regards to cancer symptom awareness is that it’s important to be aware of what is normal for you and speak to your doctor if you notice any unusual changes or something that won’t go away.

In the majority of cases, the symptoms are caused by something less serious than cancer, but it is important to get them checked anyway.

Here is a list of signs and symptoms to look out for:

Very Heavy Night Sweats Or Fever 

Sweating at night or having a high temperature (fever) can be caused by infections or a side effect of certain medications. It’s also often experienced by women around the time of the menopause. But speak to your doctor if you have very heavy, drenching night sweats, or an unexplained fever. 


There are lots of reasons why you may feel more tired than usual, particularly if you’re going through a stressful event, or having trouble sleeping. But if you’re feeling tired all the time, or, for no clear reason, it could be a sign that something is wrong - speak to your doctor.

Unexplained Bleeding Or Bruising 

Unexplained bleeding or bruising when you have not hurt yourself is important to get checked out by your doctor. This includes blood in your poo or pee, as well as vomiting or coughing up blood. It also includes any unexplained vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex or after the menopause.  No matter how much blood or what colour it is (blood can be red, or a darker colour like brown or black), speak to your doctor.

Unexplained Pain Or Ache 

Pain is one way our body tells us that something is wrong. As we get older, it’s more common to experience aches and pains. But unexplained or persistent pain anywhere in the body could be a sign of something more serious.

Unexplained Weight Loss 

Small weight changes over time are quite normal, but if you have lost a noticeable amount of weight without trying to, tell your doctor.

Unusual Lump Or Swelling Anywhere 

Persistent lumps or swelling in any part of your body should be taken seriously. This includes any lumps in the neck, armpit, stomach, groin, chest, breast, or testicle.

Information supplied by Cancer Research.

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