Cancer symptoms - Five common early warning signs you should never ignore

Cancer signs usually involve changes to the body that aren’t normal, according to the NHS.

If lumps suddenly appear, or you find blood in your urine, it could be an early sign of cancer.

“These symptoms are often caused by other, non-cancerous illnesses, but it's important to see your GP so they can investigate,” said the NHS.

“If your GP suspects cancer, they'll refer you to a specialist – usually within two weeks.”

These are early signs of cancer you should never ignore.

Difficulty swallowing

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, could be caused by mouth, throat or oesophageal cancer.

Cancers growing in this part of the body can narrow passages in the body, making it difficult to swallow food and drink.

“Once these cancers are treated, the obstruction may no longer be an issue,” said the NHS.

Mole changes

Moles are small, coloured spots on the skin. They’re usually nothing to worry about, but you should see a GP if you notice a change in a mole.

Changes could be a sign of malignant melanoma - a type of skin cancer.

If a mole has an odd shape, or has jagged edges, you should get it checked.

It could also be a sign of skin cancer if the mole is bigger than 7mm, or is itchy, crusting or bleeding.

Persistent headaches

Headaches are caused by increased pressure in the head. There’s a fixed amount of space for the brain to take up in the skull, but a growing tumour could increase the pressure and cause a headache, said the charity.

Headaches are very common, but it could also be a symptom of a brain tumour.

You should see a GP if you’re having headaches more and more often, according to Cancer Research UK.

Unexplained weight loss

“You should also see your GP if you've lost a lot of weight over the last couple of months that can't be explained by changes to your diet, exercise or stress,” said the NHS.

Unintentional weight loss doesn’t always have an underlying cause, but it could be caused by cancer.

Weight loss is a sign of a number of different cancers. For example, it could be a sign of pancreatic cancer, as the pancreas plays an important role in digesting food.

Unusual bleeding

Unexplained bleeding could be a sign of different types of cancer.

Finding blood in your urine could be an early sign of bladder cancer.

While one of the earliest signs of anal cancer is finding blood in your stool.

But, unusual bleeding could be caused by a number of other conditions, so it’s important to get it checked by a GP.