Bowel cancer symptoms: Five common warning signs you should never ignore
When it comes to treating cancer, getting diagnosed early really can mean the difference between life and death.
However a patient survey revealed that more than half of Brits ignore “red-flag” symptoms because they are worried about wasting their doctor’s time.
Many aren’t aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and so blame them on other ailments or simply ageing.
Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Britain, yet most people don’t know the warning signs.
The condition, which has been linked to diet, smoking and ageing, affected 41,265 people in 2014 and accounted for 15,903 deaths in the same year.
Bowel cancer is a disease which is easily treatable if it is caught early, but NHS Choices say it can be difficult to spot becasue symptoms can be vague and even undetectable.
However, the NHS website suggests that 90% of people with bowel cancer will experience these warning signs:
1. A persistent change in bowel habit
Needing to go to the toilet more often, with looser stools and sometimes abdominal pain
2. Blood in the stools without other piles (haemorrhoids) symptoms
If you experience blood in your stools and there isn’t another obvious reason, it could be a sign of bowel cancer.
3. Abdominal pain
Pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating can also be a sign of the common cancer.
4. Weight loss
Unexplained weight loss or weight loss due to lack of food eaten because of stomach pain could be a warning sign.
5. A lump
A lump in your tummy which doesn’t go away could also be a sign of bowel cancer and should be checked by a medic.
6. Bowel obstruction
In some cases, bowel cancer can stop digestive waste passing through the bowel. This is known as a bowel obstruction.
Symptoms of a bowel obstruction can include:
- Intermittent, and occasionally severe, abdominal pain – this is always provoked by eating
- Constant swelling of the tummy – with abdominal pain
- Vomiting – with constant abdominal swelling
A bowel obstruction is a medical emergency. If you suspect your bowel is obstructed, you should see your GP immediately.
For more information on bowel cancer go to http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cancer-of-the-colon-rectum-or-bowel/Pages/Introduction.aspx
The symptons were collected by the british DailyStar