Know the signs of cancer
You are more likely to survive cancer if you spot it at an early stage. Take time today to check your body for changes that could be cancer. Talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual.
The main changes to look for include changes that are:
- A lump or swelling
Make sure to check your whole body, not just your testicles or breasts.
- Bleeding that is not normal for you
Coughing up blood or noticing it in your urine or bowel motion is not normal. Neither is bleeding from your vagina between periods, after sex or after the menopause.
- Weight loss
It is normal to see small weight changes over time. But a big weight loss, not related to dieting, may be a sign of something more serious.
- Pain that does not go away
If you feel pain for more than four weeks that you cannot explain, talk to your doctor about it.
- A cough, changes in your voice or feeling short of breath
Speak to your doctor if you have any of these problems for more than three weeks, especially if you are a smoker or ex-smoker.
- A sore that does not heal
If a spot, wart or sore does not heal in a few weeks, get it checked by your doctor, even if it is painless.
- Difficulty swallowing, indigestion or heartburn
It is not normal to have indigestion or heartburn that happens a lot or is very painful. Difficulty swallowing is not normal either. Get it checked by your doctor.
If bloating does not go away within a few weeks talk to your doctor about it.
- Mouth or tongue ulcer
Having a mouth or tongue ulcer for three weeks or more is not normal and needs to be checked by your doctor or dentist.
- A change in your bowel or bladder habits
If you have constipation, diarrhoea or problems passing urine for more than a few weeks, talk to your doctor.
- A new mole or change to an existing mole
Get into the habit of checking your skin every month for new moles. Also watch for changes in colour, shape and size of existing moles.
- Any change in your breast
Get into the habit of looking at and feeling your breasts for changes in the shape, size, nipples and skin. Also watch for pain in one breast.
If you notice any other unusual change in how your body works, talk to your doctor. The chances are it will not be cancer. But getting it checked is not wasting anyone’s time. It could save your life.
Download our new leaflet on the signs of cancer.
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