Cancer symptoms: Four signs you need to know to boost chances of survival

Cancer currently has no cure which is why recognising symptoms as early on as possible is extremely important. In the UK, the four most common types of cancer are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer. A lump is one of the most widely recognised symptoms of cancer, but some of the signs can be less obvious.

Every cancer has its own specific set of symptoms, but there are also some more general ones to note.

Some symptoms are better known than others – Cancer Research UK lists four you may not associate with the disease.

Appetite loss

This can happen for many reasons but in some cases this can signal cancer.

The research charity says: “Speak to your doctor if you’ve noticed you’re not as hungry as usual and it’s not getting any better.”

Unexplained vaginal bleeding

Bleeding or ‘spotting’ between periods can be a side effect of the contraceptive pill.

But it adds: “Still see your doctor if you bleed from the vagina between periods, or after sex or after the menopause.”

Difficulty swallowing

There a few medical conditions which can make it difficult to swallow, such as tonsillitis.

It adds: But if you are having difficulty swallowing and the problem doesn’t go away, it should be checked out.”