General advice

Treatment can be more effective when cancer is found early. Keep an eye out for any unusual changes to your body, such as:

  • Lumpiness or a thickened area in your breasts, any changes in the shape or colour of your breasts, unusual nipple discharge, a nipple that turns inwards (if it hasn’t always been that way) or any unusual pain;
  • A lump in the neck, armpit or anywhere else in the body;
  • Sores or ulcers that don’t heal;
  • Coughs or hoarseness that won’t go away or coughing up blood;
  • Changes in toilet habits that last more than two weeks, blood in a bowel motion;
  • New moles or skin spots, or ones that have changed shape, size or colour, or that bleed;
  • Unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding; and/or
  • Unexplained weight loss.

If you notice any changes, see your doctor immediately. For more information, see Cancer Council Australia’s early detection fact sheets, or call Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.

Remember there are free screening programs available for breast cancer, cervical cancer and bowel cancer.