This month, we have been promoting the Scottish Government's "Detect Cancer Early" initiative.
The programme’s key aim is that overall 5 year survival for people in Scotland diagnosed with cancer will improve.
There has been much progress in cancer care over the last 20 years. Screening has been improved, new treatments are now available and waiting times have been reduced.
More can still be done.
Scotland still lags behind the rest of Europe in terms of cancer survival rates. One way of improving this figure is to detect cancer earlier, when it is possible to use simpler, less toxic treatments.
The messages are to look out for the following signs:
- A new lump which appears or gets bigger in the breasts, testicles or anywhere else
- A sore that does not heal in the mouth, throat or skin
- A mole that changes shape, size or colour
- any growth that appears on the skin, and continues to grow
- coughing up blood, or blood in the urine or mixed through stools
- things t6hat refuse to clear up, like a cough that never goes away, or a pain somewhere that won't settle
- a change in the pattern of going to the toilet
- unexpected weight loss (that is not because you've been on a diet)