According to research published last Wednesday in the British Journal of Cancer, around 35% of cancer patients waited too long to see their doctor about bleeding from their bottom, which is a possible sign of bowel cancer. Yet more than 90% of people made an appointment to see a doctor within three months if they had blood in their urine. Worrying, more than one in five cancer patients waited more than three months before visiting a doctor about their symptoms.
The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chances of survival. According to Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of early diagnosis, it's important that everyone is aware of the wide range of cancer symptoms and has the confidence to tell their doctor.
So what symptoms should you be looking out for?
First of all, it's essential to know your own body and spot anything that seems out of the ordinary for you. The 'for you' part is the key as everyone is different. If you notice any persistent or unexplained changes, see your doctor. Don't assume that any changes are simply a sign of getting older or, in the case of women, associated with the menopause.
Secondly, there are over 200 types of cancer that can cause many different symptoms. Cancer Research UK have listed the most important ones here.
And don't forget if you can't get an appointment with your doctor straight away, you can always ask a pharmacist for advice too.