The 10 'red flag' symptoms that could mean cancer

Cancer Research UK has warned that people should not dismiss trivial symptoms as they could be a sign of something more sinister.  The charity is urging everyone to familiarise themselves with the key symptoms – in their bid to help save lives.  They advise if you or a member of your family is suffering at least one of these 10 red flag symptoms, book an appointment with a GP straight away:

Persistent cough or hoarseness – could indicate lung cancer

A change in the appearance of a mole – could mean you’re suffering skin cancer

A persistent change in bowel habits – could be a sign of bowel cancer

A sore that does not heal – depends on where, a mouth ulcer could mean mouth cancer

Persistent difficulty swallowing – can mean a person is suffering oesophageal cancer

Unexplained weight loss – can indicate several types of cancer

Persistent change in bladder habits – could be a sign of bladder cancer and prostate cancer in men

An unexplained lump – can be a warning sign of many forms of the disease

Persistent unexplained pain – depending on where, can denote many types of cancer

Unexplained bleeding – depends where but can mean bowel, cervical or vulval cancer   

These 10 red flags for cancer are ingrained in the minds of doctors and healthcare workers the world over.  In a lot of cases early diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death for cancer patients.

Another study released yesterday revealed that one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives, according to the most accurate forecast to date from Cancer Research UK, and published in the British Journal of Cancer.

The new figure highlights the fact that prevention must play an important role in the concerted effort required to reduce the impact of the disease in coming decades.

The UK’s cancer survival has doubled over the last 40 years and around half of patients now survive the disease for more than 10 years. But, as more people benefit from improved healthcare and longer life expectancy, the number of cancer cases is expected to rise. This new research estimating lifetime risk finds that, from now on*, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with the disease.

This new estimate replaces the previous figure, calculated using a different method, which predicted that more than 1 in 3 people would develop cancer at some point in their lives.

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