Cancer awareness

3. Signs of cancer

Be aware of the signs of cancer. Treatment is more effective the earlier it begins.

Did you know that more than 4 in 10 of all cancers diagnosed in the UK are caused by lifestyle and environmental factors? 86% of lung cancer cases in the UK are caused by tobacco use alone (source Cancer Research UK).

For free, confidential and local advice on healthy lifestyles, including help to stop smoking visit Healthy Stockport.

Thousands of people beat cancer every year. Treatment is often simpler and more effective the earlier it begins. So if you notice anything unusual about your body, or have any of the warning signs listed below, it’s really important you see your GP.

It may be nothing to worry about, but acting early could save your life.

Signs of cancer

  • an unusual lump or swelling anywhere on your body
  • a change in the size, shape or colour of a mole
  • a sore that won’t heal after several weeks
  • a mouth or tongue ulcer that lasts longer than three weeks
  • a cough or croaky voice that lasts longer than three weeks
  • persistent difficulty swallowing or indigestion
  • problems passing urine
  • blood in your urine
  • blood in your bowel motions
  • a change to more frequent bowel motions that lasts longer than four to six weeks
  • unexplained weight loss or heavy night sweats
  • an unexplained pain or ache that lasts longer than four weeks
  • breathlessness
  • coughing up blood

For more information, visit the NHS Choices website.