Early Detection

How To Detect Cancer Early

Early Detection of Cancer Can Greatly Improve The Outcome

This section is dedicated to the signs and symptoms of cancer and what to do if you have any concerns. You will also find some helpful tips and resources on how to detect cancer and what you should look out for.

Know the Signs of Cancer

You are more likely to survive cancer if you spot it at an early stage. Take time today to check your body for changes that could be cancer. Talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual.

Unexplained changes

  • A lump or swelling – Make sure to check your whole body, not just your testicles or breasts.
  • Bleeding that is not normal for you – Coughing up blood or noticing it in your urine or bowel motion is not normal. Neither is bleeding from your vagina between periods, after sex or after the menopause.
  • Weight loss – It is normal to see small weight changes over time. But a big weight loss, not related to dieting, may be a sign of something more serious.
  • Pain that does not go away – If you feel pain for more than four weeks that you cannot explain, talk to your doctor about it.

Persistent changes

  • A cough, changes in your voice or feeling short of breath – Speak to your doctor if you have any of these problems for more than three weeks, especially if you are a smoker or ex-smoker.
  • A sore that does not heal – If a spot, wart or sore does not heal in a few weeks, get it checked by your doctor, even if it is painless.
  • Difficulty swallowing, indigestion or heartburn – It is not normal to have indigestion or heartburn that happens a lot or is very painful. Difficulty swallowing is not normal either. Get it checked by your doctor.
  • Bloating – If bloating does not go away within a few weeks talk to your doctor about it.
  • Mouth or tongue ulcer – Having a mouth or tongue ulcer for three weeks or more is not normal and needs to be checked by your doctor or dentist.

Unusual changes

  • A change in your bowel or bladder habits – If you have constipation, diarrhoea or problems passing urine for more than a few weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • A new mole or change to an existing mole – Get into the habit of checking your skin every month for new moles. Also watch for changes in colour, shape and size of existing moles.
  • Any change in your breast – Get into the habit of looking at and feeling your breasts for changes in the shape, size, nipples and skin. Also watch for pain in one breast.

If you notice any other unusual change in how your body works, talk to your doctor. The chances are it will not be cancer. But getting it checked is not wasting anyone’s time. It could save your life.
Learn more about the signs for the following cancers:

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