Eight easy cancer checks that can save your life – from breast to bowel
A PLEA by Dame Deborah James to ‘check your poo’ has led to thousands more people being screened for bowel cancer.
New NHS figures reveal that between May and July, 170,500 people were referred for tests, up 30,000 from the same time last year, and almost 80,000 more than there two years old.
At-home bowel cancer tests will now be rolled out for people aged 58 after The Sun’s No Time 2 Lose campaign – led by Dame Debs, left, – urged the government to lower the screening age from 60 to 50, to put England in line with Scotland.
As well as getting screened, knowing the signs and symptoms of various cancers, checking your body regularly and talking to your GP as soon as you notice anything unusual can be lifesaving.
Dr Rebecca Leon, GP and cancer officer at the Christie Cancer Hospital School of Oncology in Manchester, told Sun On Sunday Health: ‘As the risk of cancer increases as the population ages and live longer, early diagnosis equals better diagnosis.
“In most cases, this means a better prognosis and more treatment options.
“Knowing the symptoms of some of the most common cancers can be life-changing and life-saving.
“Spotting changes or signs that something is wrong means you can then seek life-saving medical attention.”
There are more than 200 types of this disease and breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancers account for 53% of all new cases, according to Cancer Research UK.
Smoking remains the main preventable cause. Obesity, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise can also increase your risk.
Dr Leon advises looking for “vague symptoms” – unexplained weight loss, fatigue and general pain – as well as family history, which can increase risk.
Here, Dr. Leon highlights eight common cancers and how to spot the signs at home.
THE most common cancer among Britons. Once a month, palpate the breast and armpit, looking for a hard, immobile lump or thickening, pea-sized or larger.
Look for changes in size, feel, or appearance, including in the nipple area, where there might be a discharge. Wrinkling of the skin, dimpling, rash or redness, persistent pain are also signs.
ACCOUNTS for 14% of cancer cases, mostly in men between the ages of 75 and 79. The most common symptoms are getting up in the middle of the night to pee, poor flow, going more often, or not emptying your bladder.
Blood in your semen or urine and erection problems are also signs. Consult your GP for an examination.
MADE 13% of cases. Look for a persistent cough, dry or wet, lasting three weeks or more, recurrent chest infections, hoarseness or hoarseness, shortness of breath, wheezing or chest pain.
Nearly 80% of cases are preventable since three quarters are caused by smoking. Passive smokers are also at risk.
THIS still accounts for 11% of cancers. It is most common in people over 75, but can also affect people much younger.
Watch out for abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits, frequent or looser visits to the bathroom, and blood in your poop.
SKIN cancer is the fifth most common cancer, but 87% of them are preventable.
If a mole looks larger than 6mm, have it checked out. Pay attention to new lesions or spots and changes in size or sensation (is it tingling or sore?), changes in color (darker or lighter?), or if they become raised, itchy, or bleeding.
There are approximately 2,300 new cases of testicular cancer diagnosed each year in the UK. Regularly examine your testicles, looking for thickening or lumps, swelling, redness, or pain.
Testicular cancer is most common in men between the ages of 30 and 34, but looking for symptoms is essential at all ages.
RATES have fallen by a quarter in 30 years, thanks to NHS screening and the HPV vaccine.
Symptoms include spotting of blood between your periods, abnormal smelly vaginal discharge, painful intercourse, and bleeding after intercourse. Bleeding in postmenopausal women is a symptom.
The main symptoms are abdominal bloating or swelling, feeling full after eating, urinary or bowel changes and a family history of the disease.
Around 7,500 new cases are diagnosed each year, making it the sixth most common cancer in the UK.