Signs & Symptoms

Cancer Strategic Clinical NetworkTM

patient consult with healthcare provider

Seeking advice and care from your healthcare provider is important for all aspects of your health, particularly for potentially life-threatening diseases that can be avoided by early diagnosis such as cancer.

If you have any unexplained, new, worsening or persistent changes, seek care from your family doctor, or primary care provider. Symptoms are often caused by other, non-cancerous illnesses, but it is important to see your family doctor so they can investigate.



There are symptoms you can look for, and if you experience any of them, book an appointment with your family doctor immediately. Examples of these include:

  • An unusual or growing lump
  • Blood in your stool, urine or phlegm, especially if persistent or associated with other symptoms related to your bowels (pain, constipation), urination (pain, frequency, poor stream), or breathing (worse cough or shortness of breath). Also, unusual bleeding from vagina, especially in postmenopausal women.
  • Any changes to a mole
  • Trouble urinating for men, such as needing to pee right away, more often, with difficulty or pain.
  • Unexplained significant weight loss (greater than 10%)

For a full list of symptoms, see Symptoms of Cancer on

Next Steps

If your family doctor suspects cancer, they will refer you for testing, such as imaging or biopsy and possibly to a specialist to plan any necessary treatment. Diagnosis at earlier stages can offer more treatment options and increase your chance of completing treatments that prolong or improve quality of life.

If you need help finding a family doctor, visit Or call Health Link at 811.

For information about provincial screening programs for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer, visit

Question or Health Concern?

Call Health Link at 811. Learn more.