In Peru, cancer affects women more frequently, representing about 60% of the cases registered in the country. For this reason, all women over 30 years of age should have an annual cancer screening, since most cancers do not show symptoms at the beginning, they are silent, so early detection has a greater chance of cure. On this occasion, Dr. Mauricio León, head of the Mastology Unit of Clinica Ricardo Palma, give us 6 warning signs that can indicate cancer in women.
Six warning signs that can indicate cancer in women:
- Sudden weight loss: Accelerated and unexplained weight loss greater than 10% of our average weight could be a symptom of pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, or lung cancer.
- Unusual bleeding: Unusual bleeding somewhere in the body may be a sign of cancer. It could be lung cancer if there is a cough with traces of blood; if there is blood in the stool, colon cancer; in the urine, bladder or kidney cancer; by the nipple, breast cancer; or abnormal vaginal bleeding, it could be endometrial or cervical cancer.
- Lump in the breast: If it appears, it is necessary to consult a specialist in mastology for a correct diagnosis. In the case of breast cancer, it can be detected early by performing a mammogram annually starting at age 40.
- Oral or skin ulcers that do not heal: If these do not heal after three weeks, it is a sign that a head and neck specialist should be consulted to rule out oral cavity cancer, especially if smoking and/or drink alcohol. Also, you can see a skin cancer specialist if there is a history of unprotected sun exposure in lesions of the trunk or extremities.
- Strong abdominal discomfort: Pain and swelling in the abdomen and/or changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation) for no apparent reason may be symptoms of colon, ovarian, pancreatic, or stomach cancer.
- Persistent cough: Permanent and persistent cough that does not subside for more than two weeks with or without expectoration, even more so if it is accompanied by chest pain and bleeding, could indicate the presence of lung cancer.
It is essential to focus on health care, as well as encourage the adoption of healthy behaviors and lifestyles that prevent cancer in the country’s female population.
Dr. Mauricio León
Head of the Mastology Unit at Clínica Ricardo Palma