Cancer awareness


You know your body and it’s important for you to tell your doctor if you notice a change which isn’t normal for you.


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The person who knows your body best is you. Any change, like pain, lumps and bumps and bleeding, which isn’t normal for you and which doesn’t go away by itself after 2 weeks should be reported to your doctor. 

You can develop cancer at any age but it gets more common as we get older; most cases are in people aged 50 or over. But learning about your body when you are young can help you spot changes which aren’t normal for you. This is why getting into the routine of checking your breasts if you are female and your testicles if you are male is an important part of cancer awareness. If you notice a change in your body, don’t just put it down to getting older or dismiss it as being related to another health condition you might have, see your doctor to discuss your symptoms. Remember, the sooner you see your doctor and get a diagnosis, the better your chances of treating it successfully. 

The symptoms below are more often caused by something far less serious than cancer, but they could be a sign of the disease. If any of these symptoms persist it is important to speak to your doctor. Some possible signs of cancer – like a lump - are better known than others. The list below highlights some of the other key symptoms to be aware of. The order of the symptoms on this list does not mean they’re more important, or more likely to be cancer.

  • Breathlessness
  • Very heavy night sweats
  • Croaky voice or hoarseness
  • Persistent heartburn or indigestion
  • Mouth or tongue ulcer that won’t heal
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Persistent bloating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A change in bowel habits, such as constipation or loose stools. 
  • Sore that won’t heal
  • Appetite loss
  • Unusual breast changes
  • Blood in your stool or urine
  • New mole or changes to a mole
  • Coughing up blood
  • A persistent cough
  • Unexplained pain or ache
  • Unusual lump or swelling anywhere 

Find out more about cancer symptoms here

Find out about checking your breasts and how to be breast aware here

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