There are more than 200 different types of cancer.

The disease occurs when abnormal cells divide and spread in an uncontrolled way, sometimes affecting nearby tissue and organs.

Symptoms of cancer will often depend on where in the body it is growing.

However, others can be more general signs that could be linked to many other medical conditions.

An expert spoke with about some of the symptoms you should be wary of.

Doctor Phil Green, GP at Tower Health, revealed 13 signs of cancer that require medical attention.

These include changes to skin, unexplained weight loss and feeling weak or tired.

“Changes in skin texture or tone should be monitored and checked,” he said.

“If a particular area starts to change colour (most commonly by becoming red, brown, or black), or if you see raised lumps, it could be a sign of skin cancer.

“Unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, or a change in bowel movements can be signs that something is wrong in your gastrointestinal tract.

“Blood in urine or stool should also be checked out.”

Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer in the UK, accounting for almost 35,000 fatalities every year.

“A new cough or a shortness or breath can be a sign of lung cancer, whilst pain in your bones (especially the hips and the back) are signs that there may be cancer present there,” he said.

Pain in the neck or shoulders can also be a sign of lung cancer.

He warned of some more general signs of cancer that should not be ignored.

Dr Green said: “Feeling weak, tired, losing weight, having pain in specific areas or having poor appetite are all potential signs of cancer, and they shouldn’t be ignored if they don’t go away within a few weeks.

“These things aren’t always easy to notice, and can be put down to stress or lifestyle factors, but it’s important to listen to your body and to people around you who sometimes notice if you don’t seem quite yourself.”

When to see a doctor

If any of these symptoms persist or worsen you should speak to your GP.

“You should monitor any symptoms carefully,” Dr Green.

“If they persist or worsen, you need to seek medical attention. If you develop other signs, you should quickly book a consultation with your GP; it’s better to catch cancer early.”

These signs don’t necessarily mean you have cancer though, he advised. Dr Green continued: “However, all of these can also be signs of something else.

“Pancreatic and colorectal cancers share some similarities with IBS symptoms, for instance.

“Coughing and shortness of breath might be signs of asthma or bronchitis, not lung cancer.

“Meanwhile, severe pelvic pain and irregular menstrual bleeding can be symptoms of ovarian cancer but also of endometriosis.”

He added: “It’s always worth seeking medical advice and seeing your GP if you develop symptoms, as it will put your mind at rest.

“It’s better to know what’s wrong than to worry, and treatments will be more effective when the disease is caught earlier on.”

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