You are here: 
A-|A|A+

What kinds of changes in my body should I report to my doctor?

Woman consults with a doctor about her health.

Regular checkups are important because doctors and other healthcare professionals are trained to spot the early warning signs of cancer. Having any of these signs doesn't always mean that you have cancer. They may be due to some other medical problem, or they may not be serious at all. Only your doctor can tell for sure.

Even if you've recently seen your doctor for a checkup, it's important to report any of these changes as soon as possible:

What you can see or feel on the outside

  • any new growth on the skin
  • patches of skin that bleed, itch or become red
  • any sore that does not heal anywhere on your body or in your mouth
  • obvious change in the shape, size or colour of a mole or wart
  • a new or unusual lump or swelling in the breast, testicles or any other part of the body
  • any unusual bleeding or discharge from the nipple or vagina
  • blood in your pee (urine) or poop (stool)
  • blood in phlegm

What you can feel on the inside

  • weight loss, fever, tiredness, aches or pains that you can't explain
  • any change in bladder habits, such as finding it hard to pee (urinate) or pain when you pee
  • any change in bowel habits, such as going poo more often with looser stools (diarrhea) or finding it hard to poo (constipation), that lasts more than a few weeks
  • indigestion or problems swallowing
  • a nagging cough, hoarseness or a croaky voice
Share this information with a friend to help them take the next steps to finding cancer early.

Cover image for Take the Next Steps to Finding Cancer Early


Explore related articles

Questions to ask your healthcare team about your cancer risk

Checklist: what to ask about finding cancer early

Early detection quiz

Know your breasts

A-|A|A+