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The 7 warning signs of cancer

By Mya Stevens

I just heard a Christmas Carol being played. Are you serious? AND there’s Christmas confectionery for sale….IT’S SEPTEMBER?! After just getting used to writing ‘2019’, it looks as if my brain will soon need to adjust to ‘2020’. That really does sound like we should be flying space ships to work. I know that it’s a tired axiom but where is this year going, and how is it going so fast?

As another year hurtles past, practices like meditation, and self-care like massage and acupuncture become even more precious to me. Not only do they perform wonders for my body and mind, but it helps me to slow down and appreciate how grateful I am to be leading a healthy life.

My amazing team and I work with everyday super heroes who are dealing with humongous health challenges like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, as well as caring for loved ones in ill-health. Some days I truly wonder how they do it; my clients astound me.

Having specialised in oncology massage for several years, I’ve worked in several hospitals as well as visiting clients in their homes. When you work with people living with cancer, you see that defiant human spirit in full flight.

We always start with a thorough intake process, with loads of questions such as: what type of cancer, what type of treatment(s) and how often, prognosis, and whether there’s any pain/fatigue/nausea/sites to be mindful of. And of course a simple “how are you feeling today?”

The responses are as varied as the people we treat. Sometimes muscles and joints are sore from lack of use if the person is immobile, and we can help to increase blood supply to the area. Massage and acupuncture can assist with sleep quality, if our client is having trouble in this department.

There is something incredibly powerful about the simple act of taking someone’s hand who is feeling like crap, in a hospital bed, and giving them a little 10-minute hand massage. Several times I’ve done this with clients suffering insomnia, and within a few minutes they’re fast asleep. It’s a huge privilege for me to work in this space, and incredibly humbling to know that you’ve helped in a small way.

You’ve probably heard of the “CAUTION” acronym with cancer and signs to look out for. This list is not meant to scare you, and is by no means exhaustive or a diagnostic tool. If you’re ever in doubt, please see your GP or specialist.

Seven warning signs of cancer – “CAUTION”

1. Change of bowel or bladder habits

2. Area or sore that does not heal

3. Unusual bleeding or discharge

4. Thickening or lump in tissue

5. Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing

6. Obvious change in wart or mole

7. Nagging cough or hoarseness

If you have any questions about these symptoms or want to chat about it, the Prana team is here for you. If we can’t help, we can certainly point you in the right direction. By looking after ourselves now, we can likely prevent health issues down the road – and we know how quickly ‘down the road’ gets here. Massage, acupuncture, wellness and education is our jam, so please make time to come see us.

Here’s to your good health :)