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Cancer

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime.

Your risk of developing cancer can depend on your age, genetics and your lifestyle, but Cancer Research UK tells us that two in every five cases are preventable.

The key is to spot the cancer early by recognising the signs and acting quickly – especially if your GP asks you to go along for screening.

Advice and support

You can find more information, advice and support on the Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support websites.


A document containing two week wait referral information  is available below for each area:

Bedfordshire

Luton 

Milton Keynes


A patient information letter from the East of England Cancer Alliance is available to view here.

Covid-19: Cancer Care Guidance

For more information on Cancer care during Covid-19 and to understand what changes have occurred, please see below:

Macmillan Cancer Support – Your GP is still here for you (video)

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) video

Pink Cancer Awareness Ribbon

What are the signs?

Be aware of any changes to your body – the symptoms could be non-cancerous, but it’s important to see your GP so they can investigate.

Common signs and symptoms can include unusual lumps, swelling, changes in your body’s habits or unexplained weight loss.

Having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but you must see your GP, as early diagnosis increases your chances of survival.

You can find out more about signs and symptoms on the websites for NHS Choices, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Cancer screening

There are three main types of screening are available – cervical, breast and bowel. Going along for regular screening is important as it will pick up any abnormal cell changes.

The earlier any signs of cancer are detected, the quicker you can be diagnosed and treated.

If your GP suspects you may have cancer, they can refer you for urgent tests which should be carried out within two weeks. A two week wait referral information document is available below for each area:

Bedfordshire

Luton 

Milton Keynes

Stethoscope on desk
Healthy food

Reducing your risk of cancer

In the UK, up to 40% of cancers could be prevented by a change of lifestyle. Making small changes like the ones below could drastically reduce your risk.

  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • Keep physically active
  • Reduce your time in the sun