- A change in bowel or bladder habits
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- Unusual bleeding or discharge from any opening in the body
- Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite
- Difficulty in swallowing or chronic indigestion
- An obvious change in a wart or mole
- A nagging cough or persistent hoarseness of voice
There is no single test available that can precisely diagnose cancer, so we need to depend on combination of tests to detect and confirm cancer.
- A thorough history and clinical examination.
- Diagnostic tests/procedures generally used for cancer diagnosis may include:
- Imaging (X-rays, CT scans, and fluoroscopy)
- Laboratory tests (including tests for tumour markers)
- Tumor biopsy
- Endoscopic examination
Although, chemotherapy is an effective treatment for many types of cancers, it often causes side-effects as these drugs damage the healthy cells of our body. Common side-effects include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Pain/headache, muscular aches, stomach pain, tingling and numbness of fingers and toes
- Sores in mouth and throat
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Loss of appetite
- Hair loss
Hair loss related to cancer treatment is usually temporary. In most cases, hair will grow back over a period of time (usually 6-12 months). Talk to your doctor/counsellor if you are concerned about hair loss related to cancer treatment. He/she will be able to guide you regarding better management of this side effect.