General cancer information

Noticing symptoms

General cancer information

Noticing symptoms star_border Save this page

Cancers and other diseases can cause symptoms. These are changes in your body that you notice. Examples of symptoms are having a cough, a pain or a lump.  

Symptoms can be caused by many illnesses, not just cancer, but it is always best to have them checked out by a GP. 

What you need to know

Symptoms of cancer

You can’t see inside your body but you can be aware of what it looks and feels like normally. If you notice any changes see your GP and tell them what you have noticed.

Symptoms can seem minor but they should not be ignored, especially if they have been present for a while. 

General symptoms of cancer can include:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • fatigue or tiredness
  • pain
  • fever

Symptoms related to a certain type of cancer can include:

  • a change in bladder or bowel habits
  • a sore that doesn't get better, including in your mouth
  • unusual bleeding or discharge
  • a lump anywhere e.g. breast, neck
  • trouble swallowing or persistent indigestion
  • a cough that doesn't go away
  • a change to your voice or hoarseness
  • a change to the skin e.g. a mole or freckle that changes.
Most symptoms are not caused by cancer, but it is always best to let your doctor know about any symptoms you have.

Cancers that are diagnosed early can be easier to treat.

Next steps

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have symptoms that you are worried about, even if they seem minor, you should go to see a GP. Don't be embarrassed to bring up your concerns. 

Remember, cancers that are found earlier can be easier to treat.

Where to get help

There are people you can talk to for more information or support.

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