If you know your body and what’s normal for you, it will help you to be aware of any changes. People sometimes think a change in their body isn’t worth bothering their doctor about. Or they may feel embarrassed talking about it.
But if you notice a change in how you feel or how your body works, it’s better to be safe and get it checked. You should go to see your doctor if you have:
- a lump anywhere on your body
- sore or ulcer that doesn’t heal within three weeks
- a mole that changes shape, size or colour, crusts over or bleeds
- a cough or hoarse voice that lasts for more than three weeks
- shortness of breath
- loss of appetite, ongoing indigestion or difficulty swallowing
- a change in bowel habit that lasts for more than three weeks
- blood in your urine, bowel motions, semen, spit or vomit, or abnormal bleeding from your vagina
- a need to pass urine more often or urgently, or pain when passing urine
- unexplained weight loss or tiredness
- an unexplained ache or pain that lasts for more than three weeks.
Most of the time, these changes aren’t due to cancer. But finding a cancer early can make a big difference to how successful treatment is.
There is more information on when you should talk to your doctor about changes in your body on the NHS website.