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Cancer symptoms: 7 major warning signs of cancer, including bowel, breast and prostate - and when to see a GP

Around one in two people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime, according to the NHS, but early diagnosis can help to save thousands of lives.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:32 pm

There are more than 200 different types of cancer, but in the UK the four most common types include breast, lung, prostate and bowel cancer.

The condition causes cells in specific parts of the body to grow and reproduce uncontrollably, leading to cancerous cells invading and destroying healthy tissue and organs.

Cancer will usually develop in one part of the body first before spreading to other areas, so being able to spot the signs and catch it quickly is key, as it is much easier to treat in the early stages.

Seeking advice from a GP if you are worried about symptoms is especially important as the NHS backlog in England has now hit a record high, with nearly 10,000 people waiting more than two years for treatment.

A total of 5.7 million people were waiting to start routine hospital treatment at the end of August 2021, according to NHS England figures, which is the highest since record began in August 2007.

The number of people waiting more than two years to start treatment rose to 9,754 in August, which is more than three times the 2,722 people who were waiting longer than two years in April.

However, waiting times did fall for the number of people having to wait more than 52 weeks to start treatment for the fifth month in a row to 292,138.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is now calling for an increase in hospital beds and staff to help cut down the backlog and improve treatment waiting times.

The NHS says that if your GP suspects you may have cancer you will be referred to a specialist as soon as possible, usually within two weeks.

If you have been experiencing worrying symptoms and are concerned it could be cancer, these are the seven major warning signs associated with the disease, and when you should seek advice from a GP.

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