Encouraging People With Cancer Symptoms To Seek Help Early

Noticed something unusual? Just get it checked out

“It’s just a little lump…”

“It’s just a bit of blood…”

When it comes to managing your health, it’s vital to know your body and what feels normal for you. If you notice something a change to your health, a new symptom, or something that won’t go away, call your GP surgery so they can investigate.

Dr. Dilesh Shah says: “Being aware of the common symptoms of cancer and talking to your GP if you are experiencing any of them is so very important. The NHS is open and here to help you, so please don’t put it off if you’re worried about something.

“We can arrange appointments for you and if you need to go to the hospital for any tests, you will be cared for in a safe environment. Cervical screening (smear tests), bowel screening and breast screening is all still running, so if you’re invited to be screened please take up that offer.

“Your symptoms might not be anything serious, but knowing for sure will help put your mind at rest. And if it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable, so please just speak to your GP.”

Here are some of the important symptoms we should always take seriously:

Unexplained weight loss

Small weight changes over time are quite normal but if you’re losing a lot of weight without trying, you should get checked out.

Unusual lumps and bumps

Any lump or swelling that won’t go away needs looking at. That includes any lumps in the neck, armpit, stomach, groin, chest, breast or testicle.

Sensitive skin

Is your skin unusually pale? Has a mole changed shape or got bigger? Have you got a sore that is not healing? If so, call your practice.

Cough! Cough!

A cough is not only a sign of COVID – it could also be a symptom of cancer, especially if it lingers longer than a month. If your throat always feels hoarse, or it hurts to swallow, please get yourself seen.

Toilet troubles

If you need to visit the loo more often, it’s painful, or if you find it hard to go even when you want to, talk to your GP. If you see blood in the toilet bowl, please get checked.

Feeling bloated

We want to hear from you if you feel bloated most days, have discomfort in your stomach that won’t go away or are regularly feeling sick. Don’t be embarrassed about any of these symptoms, just get them checked out.


There are lots of reasons you may feel more tired than usual, particularly as it gets darker earlier and we’re not doing our usual activities. If you’re feeling very tired for no clear reason, it could be a sign that something is wrong – speak to your doctor.

Did you know?

Cancel Out Cancer is a free session run by East and North Hertfordshire CCG where you can find out about cancer prevention, symptoms and the screening programmes available.

They’re now online, so to find out more to book a session, please go to www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/cancel-out-cancer