While the 14th February is traditionally the excuse to spend time and money spoiling your lover, a leading health charity is urging people to ‘look after number one’ on Valentine’s Day.

Cancer Research UK is calling on Brits to take time to pamper themselves by keeping an eye on their own bodies – not just their partners’.

The request comes as new research from the charity reveals that just two per cent of adults in the UK are aware that checking out changes in the body has a major role to play in detecting cancer early.

And fewer than one in 10 (nine per cent) of those polled put regular screening top of the list of changes that could help reduce the risk.

According to the charity more than half of all cases of cancer can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes.

And to promote the message it has just launched a five-year campaign called Reduce the Risk designed to help people help themselves to reduce their chances of getting cancer.

As well as cutting out smoking, watching your weight and eating healthily, the campaign also aims to encourage people get to know their bodies and be aware of any signs, such as changes in moles, unusual lumps or persistent coughs.

Says Dr Lesley Walker, Director of Cancer Information at Cancer Research UK: “Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day by yourself or celebrating it with a loved one, everyone’s lifetime partner is their health. So it’s vital that people take time to look after themselves.

“While one in three people in the UK will develop cancer during their lifetime, more people are surviving than ever before, thanks to earlier detection and better treatment. By monitoring your body you’re improving your chances of catching any problems early – and having a ‘happy ever after’.”

To find out more about how lifestyle choices could reduce the risk of cancer, visit www.reducetherisk.org.uk.



See your doctor straight away if you notice any of these changes. They may not be caused by cancer but it’s important that they are checked out.

  • A new or unusual lump anywhere on your body
  • A sore that will not heal, anywhere on your body or in your mouth
  • A change in the shape, size or colour of a mole
  • Any abnormal bleeding
  • Blood in your urine or bowel motions
  • A persistent cough or croaky voice
  • Constipation or diarrhoea that doesn’t go away
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • A persistant and unexplained pain, ache or indigestion
  • Unexplained weight loss


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