//Cancer, early warning signs

Cancer, early warning signs

Cancer, early warning signs


Any unexplained bleeding

Haematuria, any blood in the urine is abnormal, frank or occult

Females, check again in 2 weeks


Blood in sputum

Melaena / PR

Again, frank or occult

PV, between periods, after sex post menopause

(no matter how much blood or what colour it is)




Usually indicate infection

Tumours distort and block normal anatomy

Chest infections

Chronic cough




Change in bowel or bladder habits

Changes in defecation, frequency, consistency, constipation, diarrhoea, shape, colour, mucous

Colour, dark or pale (head of pancreas)


Dark urine

Abdominal bloating or swelling

Persistent heart burn / indigestion

Persistent bloating, anorexia

Changes in bladder emptying habits


Thickening of tissue or a lump

Tumours near body surface

(Breast, testicular)

Swollen lymph nodes

Nagging cough or hoarseness

Lung, laryngeal cancer, thyroid

A sore / wound which does not heal

Malignant ulceration

Lesion getting bigger

Increasing pain

Unexpected bleeding

Basal cell carcinoma (rodent ulcer)

Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs)

New mole or changes to a mole

Mouth or tongue ulcer (more than 3 weeks)

Obvious change in a wart or mole

A, asymmetry

B, borders

C, colour

D, more than 6mm or increasing

E, elevation

Malignant melanoma may demonstrate all of the above features.

Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing

Feeling of pressure, throat or chest

Dysphagia, oesophagus or fundus of the stomach.


Night sweats or fever


Unexplained weight loss

Unexplained pains or ache

New blood clots, deep venous thrombosis

Bone pain

Intercurrent infection

Cancer research UK


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