- Cancer Information
- Living well
- Living well after cancer
- Fear of the cancer returning
- Checking for signs of a new cancer
Checking for signs of a new cancer
It’s important to know what is normal for you. If you notice any unusual changes in your body or have any concerns, see your GP as soon as possible. Don’t wait until your next scheduled check-up.
The main signs and symptoms to look out for include:
- a lump, sore or ulcer that doesn’t heal
- a mole that bleeds or has changed shape, size or colour
- a cough or hoarseness that doesn’t go away, or a cough that produces blood
- a change in bowel habits (e.g. diarrhoea or constipation that lasts for more than a few weeks)
- urinary problems or changes
- unusual changes in your breasts or testicles
- abdominal pain or bloating that doesn’t go away
- abnormal bleeding or bruising
- unexplained changes in your general health, such as weight loss, loss of appetite and loss of energy (fatigue).
To help detect cancer early, free national screening programs are available for breast (women aged 50-74), cervical (women aged 25-74) and bowel (men and women aged 50-74) cancers. For more on this, talk to your doctor, call Cancer Council 13 11 20 or visit cancerscreening.gov.au.
I’m more aware of my own body and the need to get any changes checked out straightaway.
Dr Haryana Dhillon, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, NSW; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Jessica Barbon, Dietitian, Southern Adelaide Health Network, SA; Dr Anna Burger, Liaison Psychiatrist and Senior Staff Specialist, Psycho-oncology Clinic, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, ACT; Elizabeth Dillon, Social Worker, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Prof Paul Glare, Chair in Pain Medicineand Director, Pain Management Research Institute, University of Sydney, NSW; Nico le Kinnane, Nurse Coordinator, Gynaecology Services, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Amanda Piper, Manager, Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Kyle Smith, Exercise Medicine Research Institute, Edith Cowan University, WA; Aaron Tan, Consumer; Dr Kate Webber, Medical Oncologist and Research Director, National Centre for Cancer Survivorship, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.
Life after cancer treatment
Programs and support for people who have finished treatment
Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand
ENRICH – a free healthy lifestyle program
A face-to-face exercise and nutrition program for cancer survivors