Cancer can cause many symptoms, but these symptoms are most often caused by illness, injury, benign tumors, or other problems. If you have symptoms that do not get better after a few weeks, see your doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Often, cancer does not cause pain, so do not wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor. 

See your doctor:

If you start to feel tired all the time.
If you lose weight but do not know why.
If you have a nasty cough or sore throat that does not go away.

If you have a lump under your skin anywhere on your body. Even if it does not hurt.
If you have moles on your skin which have changed shape or colour, or started to bleed.
If you have an ache or pain that does not go away and you do not know why.

If you find it hard to swallow food or drink.
If there is blood in your wee or poo.
If you find it hard to do a poo (constipation).

If you have runny poos (diarrhoea).
If you do not feel hungry (lose your appetite).
If you get bruises for no reason.
If you have a headache all the time.

Some people who have cancer do not show any of these signs or symptoms. Some cancers like breast cancer and cervical cancer may not cause any pain or symptoms.

Sometimes these cancers are found because the person goes to their doctor about something else. It is very important to go for screening. Screening means having tests that can find cancer early.

Older people are more likely to get certain cancers. Bowel cancer is more common in people over the age of 60. If you are over 60 you will get a bowel cancer test sent to you through the post. This is called an F.O.B test.

It is very important to do this test. It asks you to take 6 samples of your poo and send them back. They will test for blood in your poo. This can sometimes be a sign of cancer. If any blood is found in your poo, you will be asked to go for more tests.

Word Bank

Bowel cancer: When a person has cancer in their bowel. The bowel is a long tube inside your body. It helps to digest food.

Breast cancer: When a person has cancer in their breast.

Cervical cancer: When a person has cancer in their cervix. The cervix is inside your body at the top of your vagina.

Constipation: Finding it hard to have a poo.

Diarrhoea: When your poo is watery and runny and you have to go more than usual.

F.O.B. test: This stands for Faecal Occult Blood test. It is a test to check if your poo has blood in it.

Screening: These are special tests that can sometimes find cancer early.

Symptoms: Signs in your body that tell you something is wrong, like feeling tired all the time.