Bowel cancer can be cured if detected early enough. Which combination of symptoms could indicate the otherwise deadly disease? And when should you be concerned about seeing red in the toilet bowl?
The NHS states that “more than 90 percent of people with bowel cancer” have one of the following combinations outlined below:
- A persistent change in bowel habit
- Blood in the poo without other symptoms of piles
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating
Seeing red in the toilet bowel can happen if you have blood in your faeces.
First, it’s important to discover whether or not blood in the faeces is caused by piles – otherwise known as haemorrhoids.
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Hemorrhoids are lumps inside and around the bottom, and they usually get better on their own after a few days.
Symptoms of the condition include bright red blood after you poo and an itchy anus, and sometimes pain.
You may also feel like you still need to poop after visiting the toilet and may find slimy mucus in your underwear, or on the toilet paper after wiping.
Definitely sure you haven’t got haemorrhoids, but still have blood in your stools?
Is this symptom of bowel cancer coexisting with a persistent change in bowel habit?
This can be pooing more often, with looser, and runnier stools – and sometimes can be accompanied by tummy pain.
If so, do speak with your GP about your bowel cancer concerns.
Maybe you’re experiencing abdominal discomfort alongside one of the symptoms mentioned above (or all three), if so don’t hesitate to get in touch with a healthcare professional.
These symptoms are particularly alarming if they’ve persisted for more than four weeks.
Bowel cancer typically first develops inside clumps of cells called polyps on the inner lining of the bowel.
Some polyps aren’t cancerous and go away by themselves. Other polyps can turn cancerous over several years.
More than nine out of 10 cases of bowel cancer develops in people over the age of 50.
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Risk factors for developing the disease include eating large amounts of red and processed meat.
Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky and ham.
Moreover, being overweight is linked to an increased risk too.
Additionally, a person’s risk for developing the disease increases if they smoke and regularly drink large amounts of alcohol.
According to Cancer Research UK 54 percent of bowel cancers in the UK are preventable.
In a breakdown, the charity states that 13 percent of bowel cancer cases are caused by eating processed meat.
And 11 percent of cases are down to somebody being overweight.
Shockingly, a whopping 28 percent of bowel cancer cases in the UK are caused by eating too little fibre.
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