Friday, 20 March 2015


The National of Papua New Guinea 20 March 2015

Dr Paul Alexander

Symptoms of breast cancer

If you are over the age of 40, or at a high risk for the disease, you should have an annual mammogram and physical examination by a doctor. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better your chances of beating it.

The first sign of a new breast cancer is a new lump in the breast that you or your doctor can feel. A lump that is painless, hard with uneven edges is more likely to be cancer.

But sometimes, cancers can be tender, soft and rounded. It is important to have anything unusual checked  by your doctor. According to the American Cancer Society, the following unusual changes can be a symptom of breast cancer:

swelling of all or part of the breast
skin irritation or dimpling
breast pain
nipple pain or nipple turning inward
redness , scaliness or thickening of nipple or breast skin,
nipple discharge other than breast milk, or
lump in the underarm area.

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease  and affects more womn than necessary due to late detection. It is caused by the human papillomavirus of which there are many strains. But there are 3 or 4 types regarded as the cause of cervical cancer.

Early cervical cancer cannot be detected through symptoms. As the condition progresses it becomes more aggressive and abnormal bleeding can occur.

Symptoms of cervical cancer may include the lower belly or pelvis with :

 pain during sex, and
vaginal discharge that is not normal,

A Pap smear can find changes in cervical cells before these turn into cancer. Cells are scraped from the opening of the cervix and examined under a microscope.

Screening should start at the age of 21. After the first test, a test should take place every 3 years. If after 30 years of age and the tests are normal, a test can be done every 5 years.

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