Bowel cancer symptoms: Why you shouldn’t ignore these FOUR rare signs

Deborah James discusses 'scary' bowel cancer symptoms

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Bowel cancer is both rare and deadly, with seniors older than 60 most likely to develop it. Approximately 58 percent of patients diagnosed with the disease will die if they leave it to spread. Doctors recommend people catch it early by keeping an eye out for potential symptoms.

What are rare signs of bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer develops as a lump in the colon or rectum, causing symptoms in that area.

According to the NHS, they start subtle and gradually build as the tumour grows or spreads.

Most people (up to 90 percent) will find their bathroom habits change at first, followed by blood in their stool and haemorrhoid symptoms, while fewer people experience five others.

Abdominal and rectal pain

The bowels take up a significant portion of the abdomen, stretching from the stomach to the anus.

As such, people may experience pain around their tummy or back if they develop bowel cancer.

Cancer experts state this could feel sharp during bowel perforation that is often associated with cancer.

Bloating, nausea, vomiting and cramping may also indicate a growing tumour.


When cancer grows, it tends to tax the body and cause fatigue.

Fatigue associated with cancer is more akin to exhaustion and won’t go away with rest.

Internal bleeding and anaemia caused by the cancer are often the primary cause of this symptom.

Discoloured stool

Poo will sometimes take on a different appearance in bowel cancer patients.

Internal bleeding may turn stools black, indicating late-stage cancer.

Bright red blood can sometimes indicate cancer but also features as a symptom of other conditions such as constipation.

So while it’s always important to see your GP if you experience blood in your stools, you shouldn’t panic.

Weight loss

Unexplained weight loss over an extended period is a universal cancer symptom.

With bowel cancer, tumours will prevent the body from absorbing the nutrients it needs.

Cancer cells also use energy and release other substances in the body that gradually cut weight.

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