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

  • Anyone can develop cancer, but it’s more common as we get older – most cases are in people aged 50 or over
  • Don’t put something new or different about your body down to getting older or another health condition you might have. If you notice any unusual changes or anything that doesn’t go away, see your doctor
  • Many of the symptoms are caused by something far less serious than cancer, but they could be a sign of the disease
  • Spotting cancer early means treatment is more likely to be successful. Learn more about why early diagnosis is important on the Cancer Research website.

Some possible signs of cancer – like a lump - are better known than others. Because of this, less well-known possible cancer symptoms are listed here first. But that doesn’t mean they’re more important, or more likely to be cancer.

The list below highlights some of the key symptoms to be aware of. And remember, if you spot anything that isn’t normal for you, whether it’s on this list or not, get it checked out.

  • Breathlessness
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Very heavy night sweats
  • Croaky voice or hoarseness
  • Persistent heartburn or indigestion
  • Mouth or tongue ulcer that won’t heal
  • Persistent bloating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A change in bowel habit, such as constipation, looser poo or pooing more often
  • Sore that won’t heal
  • Appetite loss
  • Unusual breast changes
  • Blood in your poo
  • Blood in your pee
  • Problems peeing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • New mole or changes to mole
  • Coughing up blood
  • Persistent cough
  • Unexplained pain or ache
  • Unusual lump or swelling anywhere.

Visit the NHS website for further information on signs and symptoms.

Watch Dr Neil Smith talk more about the signs and symptoms of cancer in this video.

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