Spot cancer early
“I went to see my GP after I noticed some blood in my stools. My cancer was caught in the very early stages and thanks to excellent treatment my experience has been a very positive one. I now have my life back again and have been able to see two more grandchildren born and see my youngest daughter graduate and get married.” - Clive
Up to 10,000 cancer deaths could be avoided each year through earlier detection and treatment. Diagnosing cancer in its earlier stages often makes it easier to treat, meaning the chances of recovering are much better.
Finding and treating cancer quickly, before it spreads to other parts of the body, can make a big difference.
What can you do to help spot cancer early?
Find out the key signs and symptoms of cancer, as agreed by experts.
You can also download the free app on your iPhone or if you have an Android smartphone you can search for "Cancer Research UK" or "cancer signs" in the Marketplace.
But it’s most important to get to know your own body and what’s normal for you. This will mean you’re more likely to notice any unusual or persistent changes that could be signs of cancer and need to be checked out by your doctor.
How can you help the people you care about?
Why not help spread the word about knowing your body and what to look out for by sharing with family and friends, particularly those over 50 who are at much higher risk of cancer than younger people. Share with your mum, dad and grandparents!
What cancer screenings are available?
Cancer screening saves thousands of lives in the UK each year. Cancer screening tests can help detect cancer at an early stage before there are any symptoms, and sometimes also prevent cancer developing in the first place.
There are three national cancer screening programmes in the UK. Bowel screening is available to older men and women. All women over 50 are entitled to breast screening with mammography. Cervical screening (or the smear test) is available to women from their mid twenties to mid sixties.
Do you have questions about cancer?
Cancer Research UK can help you to find reliable and easy to understand information.
- Find out about cancer, its treatment and the latest research by visiting CancerHelp UK.
- Ask our cancer nurses questions on any aspect of cancer, freephone and in confidence on 0808 800 4040, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
- Share experiences with others affected by cancer on our discussion forum Cancer Chat.
“I noticed a lump in my breast and went to see my doctor the very next day. Within a week I was having tests and scans and I then started treatment right away. I am now living life to the full and enjoying the things I love to do like pottering round the garden and spending time with my family.” - Julia