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healthworks

Pay Attention To These Signs Because Your Body Could Be Telling You Something

There are some red flags you shouldn’t ignore.
23 Feb 2022, 03:57 PM
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pay attention to these signs because your body could be telling you something

Image via Shutterstock

Every now and then, we’d catch a common cough or flu, or feel some muscle soreness after an intense workout session. However, there are times when things can get a little more complicated when we start to see physical signs on our body that have never been there before.

When this happens, your body could be trying to tell you something serious...

#1 You feel a lump around your armpit

In the shower, you notice something unusual in your chest area. Like a hard lump that doesn’t hurt or move, discharge from the nipple, swelling in the armpit, irregular changes in breast size or shape, redness of the breast, or dimpled or thickened skin texture.

pay attention to these signs because your body could be telling you something

Image via Shutterstock

Any of these could be (early signs) indicators of breast cancer, the most common cancer diagnosed in women. It can happen at any age and isn’t always hereditary. And in case you didn’t know, men can get it too.

Breast cancer occurs when the cells in the lobules or ducts become abnormal and divide out of control, which then invade the breast tissues. This growth may eventually invade surrounding tissues or spread via lymphatic system to the lungs, bones, brain, and liver.

Although most people diagnosed with breast cancer often say that they feel a lump, it doesn’t always start that way. There are 12 other symptoms that can help you figure out the changes in your breast.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Know Your Lemons (@knowyourlemons) on

Now that you know what to look out for, here’s a guide on examining yourself in five simple steps:

So, what can you do to protect yourself?

What you can do is a regular breast self-examination. If you’re unsure about the steps or techniques, you can always reach out to your doctor for a demonstration. Meanwhile, it’s also important to note that there’s a best time to do these self-exams. For women, the best time to do so is about one week after your period ends. If you no longer have periods, just pick a date and do it monthly. It’s important to check at the same time every month.

#2 One testicle feels firmer than the other

It’s normal for one testicle to be slightly bigger than the other and for one to hang lower than the other. But if you start noticing a lump or swelling, you may want to get it checked. 

pay attention to these signs because your body could be telling you something

Image via Shutterstock

Testicular cancer is rarer compared to breast cancer. It’s a type of cancer that usually affects only one testicle, although there are cases where both can be affected.

Over 90% of testicular cancers begin in the germ cells, where the sperm is produced. There are two types of germ cell tumours: seminomas and non-seminomas. The former grows slowly and usually stays within the testes, although it can affect the lymph nodes. Meanwhile, the latter is more common, grows faster and can easily spread to other parts of the body.

The most common symptoms of testicular cancer are swelling, asymmetrical size or a hard, pea-sized lump in one testicle that may or may not be painful. Some feel a pulling sensation or unusual heaviness in the scrotum, discomfort and pain in the testicles, and pain in the back or lower abdomen.

pay attention to these signs because your body could be telling you something

Image via Shutterstock

Men diagnosed with testicular cancer are often aged between 15 and 44 years old and it’s common among young men. Having said that, people with testicular cancer may experience different symptoms. Sometimes, men with testicular cancer don’t experience any changes at all. Other times, the symptoms may not even be cancer.

So, what can you do to protect yourself?

The best form of defence is to check yourself regularly, at least once a month after a warm shower if possible.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Testicular Cancer Foundation (@testicularcancerfoundation) on

Don’t hesitate to tell your doctor if you notice irregularities because many men don’t do so even when they see these signs.

#3 You see swelling on your neck

The lymphatic system is mainly made of lymphoid tissue, lymph vessels and a clear fluid known as lymph. The lymph nodes are connected by lymph vessels, which carry lymph and lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell that fights against bacteria and viruses in the body).

pay attention to these signs because your body could be telling you something

Image via Shutterstock

When you start to notice unexplainable onset of swelling of the lymph nodes around the neck, underarm or groin area without any source of infection, this could indicate lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that begins in the infection-fighting cells of our immune system, called lymphocytes. Lymph nodes grow bigger when they fight infection, so the swelling is a sounding alarm.

There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). Hodgkin Lymphoma usually arises in the neck, underarms or chest, while NHL targets the lymph nodes throughout our body. Despite the differences between these two types of cancers, they both have similar symptoms, so getting an accurate diagnosis is crucial.

pay attention to these signs because your body could be telling you something

Image via Shutterstock

So, what can you do to protect yourself?

Although some symptoms are also common for other illnesses, it’s still important to take note of the signs, like loss of appetite, fever, night sweating or chills, unexplained weight loss, lack of energy, and itching of the skin.

 

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