Know the signs of bowel cancer

Know the signs of bowel cancer

They say prevention is the best cure, which is even the case in most cancers. However, some people will spot some early symptoms and ignore them hoping they will go away. In some cases, they will, but in others, it could lead to late-stage cancer, and it may be too late to treat at this stage. Most people diagnosed with bowel cancer are over the age of 50. However, more than 2,500 people under 50 are diagnosed each year in the UK. Bowel cancer, if diagnosed early enough, is very treatable and you have a much higher chance of successful treatment if cancer hasn’t become widespread. It is essential to know the signs of bowel cancer so you can have it treated early. So, let’s check out the symptoms of bowel cancer:

N.B – Most people with the below symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, as other health problems can cause similar symptoms to arise. But, if you have one or more of the below, it is highly recommended that you go see your GP anyway to eliminate the possibility of bowel cancer.

Bleeding from your bottom/blood in your poo

There are several reasons why you could bleed from your bottom or have blood in your bowel movements. Sometimes a poor diet can cause hard stools and scratch the back passage, causing blood. Bright red bleeding can indicate swollen blood vessels resulting from piles of haemorrhoids in your rear passage. However, if the blood is dark red or black, then this blood may be coming from your bowel or stomach. Talk to your doctor straight away about any bleeding so he can find out what the causes are.

An unexplained change in bowel habits

Again, a change in bowel habits could be down to a change in diet, stress or other external health problems. But, if you have found that you are going to the toilet more often, or not often enough, or even that your stools have changed, then it’s worth telling your GP to find out what the causes of this bowel activity are so they can eliminate the possibility of bowel cancer.

It’s important to note that a poor diet can lead to a change in bowel habits which can lead to bowel cancer. Foods like processed meat 

It’s important to note that a poor diet can cause a change in bowel habits which may lead to bowel cancer. Foods like processed meat are bad for the body and are linked with chronic diseases including bowel and stomach cancer because they contain cancer-causing substances called N-nitroso compounds which are believed to be responsible for some of the adverse effects of processed meat consumption. N-nitroso compounds are used to preserve the red/pink colour of meat and improve flavour by suppressing fat oxidation. These compounds also prevent the growth of bacteria, as well as enhances the taste and cuts the risk of food poisoning. Check out the infographic from HARTMANN Direct below for more information.

Processed meat and the impact it has on the body from Hartmann direct


Tiredness or fatigue can occur for a number of reasons, including a poor diet, anaemia from lack of iron in the body, or it could be stress induced. However, bowel cancer can also lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can subsequently cause anaemia, and in turn, this makes you feel exhausted. Talk to your GP about the fatigue to eliminate the possibility of bowel cancer.

Signs of bowel cancer

A pain or lump in your tummy

Not being able to go effectively can cause pain or a lump in your stomach as this creates a build-up of stools. If these symptoms are not going away or they are affecting your sleep, then contact your GP straight away to find out the cause of the lump/pain

Weight loss

Some symptoms of bowel cancer may not include weight loss, and it may be a more indirect symptom resulting from other issues. If you have lost weight and you don’t know why you feel sick, bloated or have a lack of appetite, then it is necessary to contact your GP straight away to find out why.

How does your GP diagnose Bowel Cancer?

When you visit your GP, you may have some preliminary tests done. Other tests will be conducted at the hospital, and the diagnosis of bowel cancer may be done through a screening programme.

It is important that you follow up on any unusual symptoms as soon as possible to find out the causes before it is too late. Know your signs for bowel cancer and treat it before it becomes untreatable. Click here for more info on the symptoms of bowel cancer.

*Collaborative feature post*

Leyla Preston (599 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: