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Five Diseases That Have a Better Prognosis If Caught Early

Early detection of diseases can be helpful in a number of ways, not the least of which is a possibly better treatment outcome. Early detection has the potential to increase your survival rates, keep a disease from spreading too far or advancing much more throughout the body, and even allow treatment to be more successful. 

You know your body the best, and daily self-care routines can help you keep an inward eye on what is going on. If you sense that something is wrong, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor.

Cervical Cancer

Early detection of cervical cancer can allow for more treatment options and can unquestionably save lives. According to reported Pap smear statistics, 1 in 5 women will miss a diagnosis because they are not regularly getting a screening for cervical cancer, either by a Pap smear or HPV test. 

There is a 5-year survival rate of 66% with cervical cancer. However, with early detection, this statistic jumps to 92%. The best way to screen for cervical cancer is through a routine Pap smear or HPV test. There are also some early warning signs that you can be on the lookout for, as well. These can include unexplained bleeding or discharge, pain in the pelvis, back, or legs, unexplained weight loss, and decreased appetite.

Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, may seem like a commonplace disease that most people don’t generally tend to worry about. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In 2018, almost half a million deaths were attributed to hypertension. High blood pressure doesn’t only affect your arteries, either; it can cause damage to your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. Untreated hypertension can also lead to strokes, aneurysms, heart disease, and definitely death. 

Early warning signs of hypertension can include shortness of breath, and pain, tightness, or pressure in the chest. These signs may also include coldness in your extremities because the blood is not being pumped as optimally.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects up to 10 million people in the United States. Osteoporosis causes low bone mass, of which the most dangerous side effect includes bone fractures. This also includes fractures in the vertebrae or hip, which can be devastatingly debilitating or even fatal. Early detection through a bone density scan can significantly reduce the impact of the disease. 

Fortunately, there are a few easy-to-spot early warning signs of osteoporosis that are important for you to pay attention to. These can include receding gums, decreased strength in your grip, cramps, brittle fingernails, and height reduction, among others.

Breast Cancer

Getting a mammogram to screen for breast cancer can quite literally save your life. Early detection of breast cancer has reduced the mortality rate by a whopping 40%. Annual screening for breast cancer should begin at age 45, although if there are risk factors for breast cancer, the screening should begin much earlier. Mammograms can detect masses that simple self-tests cannot find. 

Some early signs of breast cancer can include swelling, pain or tenderness, skin irritation, nipple retraction, or discharge. People with a higher risk of breast cancer should be more aware of symptoms and possible issues, especially those who have a history of breast cancer in their family.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that may not always show signs or symptoms in the early stages. This is why it’s important if you are at high risk of prostate cancer to have what is called a “prostate-specific antigen test.” A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that checks the levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood, which is produced by the prostate. It typically falls within certain levels when the prostate is healthy. 

Generally, the earlier a prostate issue is caught, the more likely it is for a man to be able to be completely healthy and disease-free. Early detection gives a 5-year survival rate of up to 100%.

Staying Safe and Healthy

Most deadly diseases can be avoided or even prevented through early detection measures, knowing the risks of these diseases, and paying attention to their warning signs. Perhaps the most important thing to do is to keep yourself otherwise well and healthy, become familiar with your own family history, and keep up with regular screenings with your doctor. Doing this can keep you happy and healthy and living your best life for many years to come.

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