Changes to your body's normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms can sometimes be an early sign of cancer.
Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. It sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other areas.
Diagnosing cancer at an early stage is important. If it's diagnosed at an early stage, when it isn’t too large and hasn’t spread, it's more likely to be treated successfully. If cancer spreads, effective treatment becomes more difficult and a person’s chances of surviving are lower.
This is why screening is really important - to rule out cancer or other serious conditions. In Barnsley there are free screening services for some people for cervical, breast and bowel cancer.
Women aged between 25 and 49 are invited for cervical cancer screening every three years. Women aged between 50 and 64 are invited every five years.
This video shows what to expect during a cervical screening appointment.
Women aged between 50 and 70 are invited for breast screening every three years.
Women over 70 aren't automatically invited. If you'd like to be screened you can arrange this yourself. Contact Barnsley Hospital on (01226) 432100 or ask your GP for more information.
This video shows what to expect during a breast screening appointment.
Men and women aged between 60 and 74 receive a bowel cancer screening kit through the post every two years. The test can be completed at home.
People aged over 74, or people aged 60 to 74 who've lost their kit, can call 0800 7076060 to ask for one.
How you can prevent cancer
You can reduce your risk of cancer by leading a healthy lifestyle. This can be by:
- stopping smoking
- eating a healthy balanced diet
- protecting your skin from sun damage
- drinking less alcohol
- staying a healthy weight