Early Detection of Cancer: how to spot cancer early

Why is it important to act on a potential signs or symptoms of cancer? 

Diagnosing and treating cancer early, before it has grown bigger or spread to other parts of the body, means that patients are more likely to survive cancer.

If the population, including high risk groups, are aware of the possible signs and symptoms of cancer, and empowered to contact their GP as soon as they notice any of these signs or symptoms, this can facilitate the early diagnosis of cancer.

Potential Early Signs & Symptoms

Cancer can cause changes to how your body normally looks, works or feels. It's important to be aware of possible signs or symptoms of cancer, these include:

  • a new lump or bump
  • a lump or bump changing in appearance or size
  • unexplained bleeding from any part of the body
  • unexplained bruising
  • unexplained or persistent pain
  • a change to your usual bowel or bladder habits  
  • a new or changing cough
  • changes on your skin
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving your tongue
  • unexplained weight loss or weight loss without trying
  • unexplained tiredness
  • unexplained night sweats

If you notice anything that is unusual for you or someone you know, it's important to contact your GP for advice without delay.

The role of the NCCP

The work of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP)  includes supporting the public and community health professionals to spot cancer early and to act without delay. This work includes

  • undertaking and publishing research to inform early detection of cancer initiatives.
  • designing and delivering tailored education sessions for community organisations and community health care professionals. 
  • Supporting design and delivery of local and national early detection of cancer initiatives. 

 Below are resources available for your use and contact details for further information or support. 

 Published Research

Resources       

Early Detection of Cancer Posters and Leaflets

Early Detection of Cancer Factsheets

Videos

Lung Cancer resources for community and healthcare professionals 

Contact prevention@cancercontrol.ie  for further information.