What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?
The main symptoms of bowel cancer are:
- bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
- a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
- unexplained weight loss
- extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
- a pain or lump in your tummy
Most people with these symptoms don't have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. But if you have one or more of these, or if things just don't feel right, see your GP.
What causes bowel cancer?
The exact cause of bowel cancer is not known, but there are a number of things that can increase your risk, including:
- age - almost 9 in 10 people with bowel cancer are aged 60 or over
- diet - a diet high in red or processed meats and low in fibre can increase your risk
- weight - bowel cancer is more common in overweight or obese people
- exercise - being inactive increases your risk of getting bowel cancer
- alcohol - drinking alcohol might increase your risk of getting bowel cancer
- smoking - smoking may increase your chances of getting bowel cancer
- family history - having a close relative who developed bowel cancer under the age of 50 puts you at greater risk of developing the condition
Bowel Cancer Awareness Month:
April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, and is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
Bowel Cancer UK are the UK's leading bowel cancer charity. They're determined to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer. You can get involved and support Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April by visiting: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/support-us/bowel-cancer-awareness-month/
Everything you need to know about a Colonoscopy:
If you need to have a colonoscopy, read our article which explains exactly what happens and what you need to know.
A Colonoscopy is a common procedure where an endoscopist puts a thin flexible tube with a camera on the end up your bottom so they can see the inside of your bowel.
You can read the full article here