About six years ago, Katy, an Oklahoma mother, noticed one day that Pierce, her infant son, was unwell.
Pierce’s belly was so bloated that he looked like he was “seven months pregnant,” the mother says.
The resulting panic set in, and instantly she knew that something wasn’t right. The doctors were notified, and an oncologist was consulted. The horrifying diagnosis was a rare form of stomach cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma.
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He’s been battling his cancer since. Only about 350 individuals are diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma every year. Groups like Make-A-Wish Foundation Oklahoma have helped ease the pain and tension. They threw Pierson a private party that would make the Pirates of the Caribbean envious–there were pirates, a treasure chest of toys, and a life-sized pirate ship, all at his disposal. Pierce was given a sword and allowed to play all day.
Cancer does have warning signs. The earlier it is discovered, of course, the better. The following information comes from WebMd and may help individuals and families detect cancers while they may still be treatable.
To remember the seven early warning signs of cancer, think of the word CAUTION:
Change in bowel or bladder habits.
A sore that does not heal.
Unusual bleeding or discharge.
Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere.
Indigestion or difficulty swallowing.
Obvious change in the size, colour, shape, or thickness of a wart, mole, or mouth sore.
Nagging cough or hoarseness.
The following symptoms may also signal the presence of some form of cancer:
Unexplained loss of weight or appetite
Chronic pain in bones
Persistent fatigue, nausea, or vomiting
Persistent low-grade fever, either constant or intermittent
Repeated instances of infection
If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, please seek the advice of a medical doctor immediately.