Detecting Cancer Early

For many types of cancer, timely and accurate diagnosis can mean the difference between remission and a successful recovery.

With breast cancer in particular, it is widely known and promoted that detecting the cancer early improves a woman’s chances for a complete recovery. Unfortunately, delays and errors by doctors and technicians can lead to a failure to diagnose and treat this or other kinds of cancer in a timely manner. The consequences for victims and their families can range from large, unplanned medical bills; lost wages; years of painful treatment; and a significant loss in their quality of life, or worse, the death of a patient.

Two Eyes Are Better Than One

As a personal injury attorney I am contacted regularly by persons who believe they have been injured as a result of a medical carelessness. I receive at least two to three calls a week raising the issue of a cancer misdiagnosis. As all of you know cancer is an epidemic in this country. Oftentimes cancers go undiagnosed because the patient is not familiar with the warning signs or fails to get routine medical examinations. At times they are told by a physician that a suspected problem is not cancer. In my thirty plus years of experience I recognize that most doctors are diligent, dedicated and care about their patients. However, some cancers are very difficult to diagnose. They can masquerade as other problems. Even the best doctors can fail to spot a cancer because there are so many types. If I can provide any worthwhile advice it is to always get a second opinion from a physician who specializes in the body part that is suspect. I don’t care if it is a skin lesion, a breast lump, an ongoing gastric problem or a raspy throat. A second and even third opinion can be a lifesaving decision. Below are some pointers on cancer

Cancer Of The Mouth

The largest organ of our body is our skin. This includes the inside of our mouth. It is important that any skin examination include your lips, gums, throat and other areas of the mouth to check for lesions, abnormal swelling, thickenings, irregular tissue, lumps or bumps. This should also include rough spots and crusted areas. Oftentimes people think it is only smokers who develop oral cancers. This is not true. It is important to note that over twenty-five percent of all oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol occasionally.

You Can Get Skin Cancer In Places You Thought Did Not Receive Excessive Sun

Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body and it is imperative that you are periodically examined literally from head to toe. This also includes your feet. Skin cancers of the feet are usually painless but can have a history of cracking, bleeding or ulceration. Some times during a routine dermatology examination the feet are skipped. An examination should include not only the tops of your feet which are exposed to the sun but also between the toes and the bottom of your feet. Melanoma which is the most dangerous form of skin cancer often begins as a small round black spot or bump. It may resemble a common mole. When patients come to see me as a podiatrist, it is usually for non-cancer related problems However, when I conduct an examination I also check for signs of cancer. You, likewise, should exam your feet thoroughly for signs of change.

What The Eye Can’t See Can Hurt You!

People can actually develop cancer inside the eye. These types of cancers are commonly known as intraocular cancers and cannot be discovered by a routine dermatology examination. These cancers are not common but they do exist and can be fatal if not promptly discovered and treated. In adults, the most common type of cancer is also the deadliest. It is melanoma. Children can also develop cancers developing in the retina. The only way to diagnose such cancers is through a professional eye examination which includes dilation of the pupils. After dilation, your eye care professional will examine the back of your eye and should be looking for any signs of cancer. The best advice that I can give you is for you and your family to undergo annual eye examinations including dilation and to wear ultra violet (UV) rated sunglasses whenever you are out in the sun. So, next time you apply your SPF lotion, make sure to wear your fashionable UV sun glasses as well.