Cancer in young people is rare, with approximately 2,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It is also sometimes difficult to diagnose making it vitally important that everyone understands the warning signs so it can be spotted early if it does occur.
Teenage Cancer Awareness Week will help you (as well as your parents, teachers and health professionals) spot the signs and symptoms of cancer.
Some signs and symptoms of cancer are very similar to other less harmful health problems you may experience throughout life. But you need to know the warning signs of cancer, just in case.
Nobody knows your body better than you! Be ready to spot when something changes.
Signs and symptoms of cancer are: UNEXPLAINED, meaning you don’t know what’s causing them, andPERSISTENT, meaning they don’t go away, always come back, or gradually get worse.
The five most common signs and symptoms of cancer are:
- Pain (that doesn’t go away with painkillers)
- A lump, bump or swelling
- Extreme tiredness (meaning you find it hard to stay awake)
- Significant weight loss (more than a few pounds)
- Changes in a mole
If you’re ever worried about any of these signs and symptoms, see your GP and make sure they listen. If they don’t listen, speak to someone else and keep talking until someone listens.
However, you don’t need to be an expert to speak to young people about cancer! We have produced a teaching pack to help you cover the signs and symptoms of cancer in an interesting and informative way. It’s not about frightening young people – the pack will help you build their confidence and empower them to understand and be more aware of their own bodies.