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Cancer often has no specific symptoms, so it is important that people limit their risk factors and undergo appropriate cancer screening. Most cancer screening is specific to certain age groups and your primary-care doctor will know what screening to perform depending on your age. People with risk factors for cancer (for example, smokers, heavy alcohol use, high sun exposure, genetics) should be acutely aware of potential cancer symptoms and be evaluated by a physician if any develop. The best way to fight cancers is by prevention (eliminating or decreasing risk factors) and early detection.
It's important to be aware of any unexplained changes to your body, such as the sudden appearance of a lump, blood in your urine, or a change to your usual bowel habits. These symptoms are often caused by other, non-cancerous illnesses, but it's important to see your GP so they can investigate. If your GP suspects cancer, they'll refer you to a specialist – usually within two weeks. The specialist will carry out further tests, such as a biopsy or X-ray, and plan any necessary treatment.