Bowel cancer symptoms: FIVE signs that you should see a doctor

Posted on Feb 10 2018 - 6:19am by admin

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers to be diagnosed in the UK.

Signs of the disease can be subtle, and may not necessarily make you feel ill, said the NHS.

The symptoms are generally very common, and most people won’t have cancer that have the signs.

But, you should see a GP if you’re unsure about the signs, or if something just doesn’t feel right.

“If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them,” said charity Bowel Cancer UK.

“Doctors are used to seeing lots of people with bowel problems.”


Finding blood in your stool, or bleeding from the anus, could both be signs of bowel cancer.

Tell your GP about any bleeding so they can find out what’s causing it, said Bowel Cancer UK.

“There are several possible causes of bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements [poo].

“Bright red blood may come from swollen blood vessels [haemorrhoids or piles] in your back passage.

“Dark red or black blood may come from your bowel or stomach.”


If you find a lump in your abdomen or back passage, you could be at risk of bowel cancer. It could also be a painful sore.

See your doctor if the lump or sore doesn’t go away, or if it’s affecting your day-to-day life, including how you eat or sleep.


Tiredness is a warning sign of the disease, the charity said.

“Bowel cancer may lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can cause anaemia [lack of red blood cells].

“If you have anaemia, you are likely to feel very tired and your skin may look pale.”

Change in bowel habit

If your bowel habits have changed and lasted for three weeks or more, you should speak to your GP.

Changes can include a looser stool than usual, or needing to empty your bowels more often.

Bowel Cancer UK said: “You may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might not feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels.”

Weight loss

Unexplained weight loss is one of the least common symptoms of bowel cancer, but it’s still worth seeing a doctor about.

If you’re not feeling 100 per cent, you may not want to eat any food, or you may not feel hungry.

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