Lung cancer: Dr Amir describes the symptoms in February
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Cancer symptoms can be ill-defined, so in many cases, they’re ignored. The current pressures on cancer care, however, highlight the pressing need to raise public awareness of the warning signs. According to health bodies, many lung cancer sufferers report seeing changes in the appearance of their faces.
An entry published on the health website Reynolds Cancer Support House outlines cancer symptoms women are “most likely to ignore”.
The health body continues: “Some patients with lung cancer report noticing puffiness, swelling, or redness in the face.
“The explanation for this is that small cell lung tumours commonly block blood vessels in the chest, preventing blood from flowing freely from the head and face.”
These changes are deemed a “common sign” of lung carcinoma, but they can also occur with several other types of cancer.
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Carcinoid tumours, for example, are neuroendocrine tumours that grow specifically in neuroendocrine cells.
These are in charge of transmitting signals through the release of hormones to help the body function.
When the cells become plagued with cancer, symptoms will include hot, red facial flushing, diarrhoea and wheezing.
Research suggests facial flushing is a result of cardioid syndrome, which is induced by too many hormone-like substances being released into the blood.
Squamous cell carcinoma, which is a cancer of the skin, has also been known to change the appearance of the face.
These changes often occur in the sections of the face that are most likely to be exposed to the sun.
When lung cancer causes a puffy face this is most generally because the tumour is pressing on the vein leading from the head to the heart.
This obstruction slows down the flow of block to and from the head, causing swelling around the neck and face.
Research into the psychological impact of these changes has shown they have a considerable effect.
It is important not to let any drastic bodily changes go untreated by an expert, as screening tests can help detect malignancies in the early stages.
How to prevent cancer
Fortunately, there are several preventative steps that can be taken to lower the risk of cancer.
Exposure to radiation, industrial and environmental toxins, infections and smoking, should all be avoided.
Exercise and a good diet are two equally important measures in the prevention of cancer, as both help keep the body lean.
Although research linking cancer to sleep isn’t strong, making quality sleep should be made a priority.
This is because “poor and insufficient sleep is associated with weight gain, which is a cancer risk factor,” explains Harvard Health.
Finally, getting enough vitamin D can offer some protection against several cancers, including cancer of the prostate and colon.
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