Eight symptoms that could indicate bowel cancer and when to call …
Bowel cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer in the UK - with 42,000 new cases every year. There are multiple risk factors for the cancer, including drinking alcohol and eating unhealthy or processed food.
Being overweight and smoking is linked to around 25 per cent of cases. As with any disease, the sooner you spot the symptoms of cancer the sooner you can seek treatment.
However, in its earliest stages bowel cancer often does not display symptoms. According to the NHS website, there are three signs of the illness that can appear.
Persistent Change in Bowel Habits: One of the most common symptoms of bowel cancer is a persistent change in bowel habits. This can include experiencing diarrhea or constipation that lasts for more than a few weeks, or a noticeable change in the consistency or appearance of stools.
Blood in Stool: The presence of blood in the stool, often in the form of dark or bright red blood, can be a warning sign of bowel cancer. It is essential to be vigilant and seek medical advice if you notice any unexplained bleeding during bowel movements.
Abdominal Pain or Discomfort: Persistent abdominal pain or discomfort, such as cramps, bloating, or a feeling of fullness, should not be ignored. While such symptoms can have various causes, it is important to consult a healthcare professional if they persist or worsen over time.
Unexplained Weight Loss: Unintentional weight loss can occur in individuals with bowel cancer. If you find yourself losing weight without any changes in your diet or exercise routine, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Fatigue and Weakness: Bowel cancer can lead to a persistent feeling of fatigue and weakness. If you experience extreme tiredness, lack of energy, or unexplained weakness, it is essential to discuss these symptoms with a medical professional.
Iron Deficiency Anemia: Bowel cancer can cause chronic bleeding, leading to iron deficiency anemia. This condition often presents with symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin, and heart palpitations. If you observe these signs, it is crucial to seek medical attention.
Abdominal Mass or Lump: The presence of a palpable lump or mass in the abdomen can be an indication of bowel cancer. If you notice any unusual swelling or a mass in your abdominal area, it is important to have it evaluated by a healthcare professional.
Nausea and Vomiting: Although nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of various health conditions, persistent or unexplained episodes should not be ignored. If you experience ongoing nausea and vomiting, it is advisable to consult a medical expert to determine the cause.
- ^ overweight (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ smoking (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ NHS website (www.nhs.uk)
- ^ signs of the illness that can appear (www.express.co.uk)