Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, with more than 41,000 people diagnosed each year.
The good news is that bowel cancer, also known as colon cancer, is treatable and the survival rate is very high if the disease is caught early. So it’s important to be aware of the symptoms, especially in people aged 50 and over (around 94% of bowel cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in this age group).
At the London Center for Gastroenterology, we offer a three-stage bowel cancer screening program designed to help detect signs of bowel cancer as early as possible. Just make an appointment.
Meanwhile, here are 5 warning signs of colon cancer that everyone should know.
1: There is blood in your stool
Seeing blood during a bowel movement (whether it’s in the rectum, in the stool, or around it) doesn’t mean something’s wrong—it’s bright red blood that comes out when you have a bowel movement. swollen veins in the back called hemorrhoids or piles. Dark red or even black blood usually means that it is older and comes from more internally. In any case, abnormal bleeding in this department can be a sign of a serious disease, such as cancer, so it should not be ignored.
2: Changes in bowel patterns
Any change in bowel pattern, especially if it lasts for three weeks or more, should be seen by a doctor. Maybe you have more bowel movements, or you feel like you’re not getting enough or that your bowels are completely empty. You may also notice changes in the consistency of the stool, becoming loose and diarrhea-like. Again, changes in bowel patterns can happen for many reasons, but it’s not something you should ignore.
3: Lump or pain
If you notice any unusual lumps or bumps in your abdomen (abdominal area) or behind, see your doctor right away so they can check for something more serious. Sometimes a lump is not always noticeable without a scan, but the area may feel pain, tenderness, swelling, congestion, or swelling.
4: Unexplained fatigue
We all get tired, and if you’re going through a busy, stressful time in life, or you’re not getting enough sleep or eating right, it can make you feel more tired than usual. But feeling tired all the time for no apparent reason can sometimes be a sign of something going on inside, including iron-deficiency anemia due to cancer.
5: Unexplained weight loss
If you’ve really lost weight without trying, it’s a good idea to tell your doctor. Maybe you’re not very hungry, you’re starting to feel full after eating smaller meals, or your eating habits haven’t changed and you’re losing weight, so you’re not eating as much as usual. Weight loss is not a sign of cancer, but it should not be ignored.