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Thousands of Brits are dying of cancer, because they are too afraid to see their doctor when they just start noticing symptoms, according to Cancer Research UK . The cancer charity surveyed 2,000 people, and concluded that 40 percent might be so worried about the underlying reason of their symptoms that they put that first doctor's visit off.

Of course, early detection is one of the most important factors that positively influence survival rate for any type of cancer. In other words, people may literally be killed be fear when they decide to ignore symptoms and hope they will go away.Professor Peter Johnson, working for Cancer Research UK, said: "Of course we are all frightened of hearing that we may have cancer. But people need to know that catching the disease early gives them much better odds of surviving it."

He stressed: "The best precaution anyone can take is to be on the lookout for any changes in their bodies that seem unusual for them and to get them checked by a doctor." But, what are those changes? What are the earliest symptoms of cancer? Every woman knows that a lump in her breast can be a warning sign for breast cancer. But what other symptoms should make you hurry to your doctor?

The Cancer Research UK survey also questioned participants about their knowledge of early cancer symptoms. Because they found many do not know, here's a list of signs that you should get a check up as soon as possible these symptoms do not have to signify cancer, but you'd want to at least rule it out:

  • Bleeding
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Persistent coughing
  • Pain
  • Moles and skin changes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • White patches inside the mouth, or on the tongue
  • Lumps under the skin
  • Headaches
  • Problems swallowing
  • Sores that don't heal.

Of course, not everyone who has these symptoms needs to be worried about cancer. If you cut your finger and experience pain and bleeding, cancer is definitely not the culprit :). It's when these symptoms are persistent and you have no idea what is causing them that you should take action.

You may also like to read: Have children earlier, reduce your breast cancer risk?

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