The three main symptoms of bowel cancer are blood in the stools (faeces), a change in bowel habit, such as more frequent, looser stools, and Abdominal (tummy) Pain.
However, these symptoms are very common. Blood in the stools is usually caused by haemorrhoids(piles), and a change in bowel habit or abdominal pain is often the result of something you have eaten.
In the UK, an estimated 7 million people have blood in the stools each year. Even more people have temporary changes in their bowel habits and abdominal pain. Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer.
As the vast majority of people with bowel cancer are over the age of 60, these symptoms are more important as people get older. These symptoms are also more significant when they persist in spite of simple treatments.
Most patients with bowel cancer present with one of the following symptom combinations:
The symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and don’t necessarily make you feel ill.
Try the bowel cancer symptom checker for advice on what treatments you can try to see if your symptoms get better, and when you should see your GP to discuss whether any tests are necessary.
Your doctor will probably perform a simple examination of your tummy and bottom to make sure you have no lumps, as well as a simple blood test to check for iron deficiency anaemia – this can indicate whether there is any bleeding from your bowel you haven’t been aware of.
In some cases, your doctor may decide it is best to have a simple test in hospital to make sure there is no serious cause for your symptoms.
Make sure you return to your doctor if your symptoms persist or keep coming back after stopping treatment, regardless of their severity or your age. Read More About: Diagnosing Bowel Cancer.
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:
A bowel obstruction is a medical emergency. If you suspect your bowel is obstructed, you should see your GP quickly. If this isn’t possible, go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your nearest hospital.
Read More ON:
Diagnosing Bowel Cancer
Causes of Bowel Cancer
Bowel Cancer Screening
Treating Bowel Cancer
Preventing Bowel Cancer
Living With Bowel Cancer
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Causes of Bladder Cancer
Diagnosing Bladder Cancer
Treatment of Bladder Cancer
Preventing Bladder Cancer
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Causes of Prostate Cancer
Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
Treating Prostate Cancer
Symptoms of Bone Cancer
Diagnosing Bone Cancer
Treating Bone Cancer
Causes of Bone Cancer
Causes of Liver Cancer
Diagnosing Liver Cancer
Treating Liver Cancer
Source: NHS UK