I think I might have cancer

It can be worrying if you think you have signs and symptoms that could be cancer – symptoms must always be PERSISTENT and UNEXPLAINED to be a concern.

Remember, cancer in young people is very rare and symptoms could also be signs of other, everyday common illnesses. It is always important to visit your GP if you have any concerns.

Know your body and what is normal for you. Keep track of any changes and discuss these with your doctor. These can be:

  • an unexplained lump, bump or swelling that remains for a period of weeks
  • unexplained aches and pains that don’t go away – these can be experienced anywhere in or on your body
  • persistent and unexplained sweating or fever
  • significant unintentional weight loss
  • unexplained new limp or leg weakness
  • extreme tiredness. Another way of saying this is ‘chronic fatigue’ (this does not mean struggling to get out of bed on a school/work day, it means absolute exhaustion that does not go away)
  • excessive bleeding, bruising easily or rash of small red spots
  • changes in a mole on the skin – these could be itching, bleeding, change in shape, colour, asymmetry and blurred or jagged edges
  • lots of infections

For more information on the signs and symptoms of cancer in young people, visit the Teenage Cancer Trust website.

Last updated November 2019.