What if cancer goes undetected?

Home Cancer What if cancer goes undetected?
cancer undetected

Early diagnosis of cancer gives better scope to cure with long survival chances and better quality of life. Some cancers are detected easily as in the case of skin cancer. But some cancers can only be detected after it spreads to other organs. However, early cancer warning signs include unexplained weight loss, fatigue, fever, pain, and skin changes.

Clinical case histories reported that some cancers are detected even after a decade due to their silent features. Such types of cancers are not only difficult to detect, but even late detection leads to treatment difficulty.

Asymptomatic cancers that do not provide any symptom at an early stage is difficult to detect. Therefore, regular health screening is important for early detection. However, X-rays and MRIs can detect cancer until the growth of the cancer is sufficient to be visible in the images. But often the detection becomes late. For example, 5- a years survival rate is 90% in the case of early detection of ovarian cancer. But unfortunately, the survival rate drops to 30% due to the detection of cancer mostly happening at the III or IV stage. However, CA125, a protein secreted in ovarian cancer used as a biomarker for ovarian cancer detection and recurrence. Following are certain cancers, which are asymptomatic at an early stage:

  • Testicular cancer: Men do not feel any symptoms at the initial stage in case a single or both testicles are cancer affected. The usual symptom of testicle cancer can be self-tested but often the symptom is not very prominent.
  • Cervical cancer: Symptoms appear at a late stage. The only option to detect precancerous cells is a Pap smear test and early treatment intervention can cessation the cancerous growth.
  • Pancreatic cancer: No specific symptoms appear at the initial stage until cancer becomes an advanced stage and the outcome of this leads to a poor survival rate.
  • Breast cancer: Breast cancer can be detected early stage through self-check. The finding of any lump or specific changes indicates the early stage of breast cancer. But often the patient does not realize the changes. However, regular mammograms can detect small tumors even if no symptom appears.
  • Prostate cancer: No symptoms at an early stage. However, PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test can conduct by the regular test of men and that can help to detect prostate cancer at an early stage.
  • Ovarian cancer: At the initial stage, no symptom appears but the advancement of cancer provides a sudden outbreak of the symptom and is persistent for a prolonged period. Pap smears test cannot detect ovarian test. But blood tests include cancer antigen tests, complete blood counts, and other germ cell tests that can detect ovarian cancer.
  • Colon cancer: This is slow-growing cancer and cannot provide any symptoms at an early stage. Colonoscopy can detect pre-cancerous or cancerous polyp/s growth in the colon.
  • Kidney cancer: No symptoms appear at the initial stage kidney cancer occurs in one or both kidneys. But physical examination and blood tests can give the first indication of kidney cancer which may affect single or both kidneys.





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