Spotting cancer early, 12 signs & symptoms

Anyone can get cancer

1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. It is vital that if anyone notices any changes to their body, they speak to their GP straight away. Spotting cancer early makes it more treatable, early detection saves lives.


If you experience any potential symptoms it does not necessarily mean you have cancer, but it is always best to speak with your doctor.


We know cancer can be emotive and scary, but rest assured treatment is always improving and survival rates are increasing.

Spotting cancer symptoms

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • An unexplained lump/swelling
  • Pain that will not go away
  • Always feeling tired
  • Blood in your wee or poo
  • Changes to bowel habits (trouble going to the toilet or going more often)
  • A persistent cough (lasting 3 weeks or more)
  • Unexplained shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Change in voice
  • Blood when coughing
  • Unusual breast changes


These symptoms are often caused by other non-cancerous illnesses, but that doesn’t mean ignore it. If something looks or feels different to you, speak to your GP.


If any of your friends or family mention these symptoms, help raise awareness by encouraging them to visit their GP. You might save their life!


Watch our video about spotting cancer signs and symptoms and how to get in touch with your GP.


Cancer is a disease caused by abnormal cells changing, so that they grow in an uncontrolled way. The uncontrolled growth may cause a growth called a tumour to form. Cancer can develop in anyone, but it tends to be more common as we get older. We don’t want members of the public to assume something new or different to their body is down to getting older, always check with a doctor.


To find out more about how cancer develops, visit Cancer Research UK – What is cancer? 


Remember, spotting cancer early can lead to better treatment outcomes and higher survival rates.


Early detection saves lives.



Other Resources

To learn how to self-check your breasts, check out this blog

For information on reducing cancer risk, visit Cancer Research UK.

To learn about symptoms for specific cancers or to learn more about certain cancer types, visit Cancer Research UK.

Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Related articles


Mammograms - A Little Discomfort Goes a Long Way

Mammograms – A Little Discomfort Goes a Long Way

My 1st smear saved my life.

My 1st smear saved my life.

Join our mailing list

You can unsubscribe at any time. See privacy policy for more details.