KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
Make sure you're clued up and know the symptoms when it comes to cancer in young people. Read more here and if you're concerned about anything go and see your GP. Most of the time it will be nothing, but sometimes it could be cancer.
Let's take a look at some of the main warning symptoms...
Getting constant headaches?
Around 50% of all brain tumours are cancerous, with the other 50% being benign (not cancer). More young people die of brain tumours than any other type of cancer, so it’s important that if you notice any of these symptoms, go and see your GP:
- Problems with eyesight or hearing
- Severe persistent headache
- Vomiting for no reason
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Fits or seizures
Pain in the Pelvis?
Cervical cancer is more common in older women; however under 25s can still develop cervical cancer. If you notice any of these symptoms, go and see your GP:
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Vaginal bleeding after sex
- Pain in the pelvic area
Cervical cancer is almost always caused by HPV, a virus which can be transmitted via sex. Make sure you’ve had the HPV vaccine – if you haven’t had this then speak to your GP.
Feeling tired all the time? Sudden weight loss?
Leukaemia is cancer of your white blood cells. If you notice any of these symptoms, go and see your GP:
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness) that doesn’t go away
- Unexpected weight loss
- Frequent or persistent infections
- Fever or night sweats
- Abdominal pain (because of an enlarged spleen)
Lump or irregular swelling?
Lymphoma is the most common type of cancer in people between the ages of 15 and 24. There are two main types – Hodgkin’s lymphoma (most common) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If you experience any of the following symptoms, go and see your GP:
- A painless lump in the neck, groin or armpit
- Night sweats or fevers
- Unexplained weight loss or tiredness
- Persistent itching
- Persistent cough or breathlessness
Got an annoying mole?
Skin cancer (Malignant Melanoma) is becoming more and more common in young people.
If you notice these symptoms, go and see your GP:
- The appearance of a new mole
- Changes in a mole that you already have, such as it getting bigger, changing shape, changing colour, or becoming itchy, painful, crusty or bleeding
You can massively lower your risk of getting skin cancer by avoiding sunbeds and staying safe in the sun. You have a greater risk if you have fairer skin, so make sure that you’re extra careful.
There are different types of sarcomas, including osteosarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. If you notice any of these symptoms, go and see your GP:
- A lump (which may or may not be painful)
- Pain in a bone, especially at night
- Tenderness or restricted movement at a joint
Thyroid cancer is very rare, however if you do experience any of these symptoms, go and see your GP:
- A lump at the bottom of the neck
- A hoarse voice lasting for more than a few weeks
- A sore throat that doesn’t get better
- Difficulty swallowing that doesn’t get better.
Checked your boobs lately?
Breast cancer is much more common in older women but younger women can still get it. Make sure you check your boobs regularly, as when caught early breast cancer can be much easier to treat. It’s best to check once a month - try and do it at the same point in your menstrual cycle each month. Look for:
- A change in the shape or size of the breast
- Changes in the look or feel of the skin
- Any unexplained or persistent pain
- A lump in the breast or armpit
- Changes in skin texture (puckering or dimpling)
- Nipple changes (discharge or inversion)
Let’s have a look at those balls.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 24, so make sure you check your balls regularly – it might be easier to check them while in the shower or bath. Look for:
- A lump or swelling in one testicle (even if there is no pain)
- A change in the shape or size of the testicles
When it comes to cancer, it's important that you know the symptoms. If anything you've read above concerns you, then make an appointment to see your GP.