Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The disease is often treatable and curable if spotted early enough. What are the signs you may have the deadly disease?
To notice any bodily changes, one must be aware of how their body usually functions.
Paying attention is the first thing anybody could do to notice any bowel cancer symptoms.
A change in normal bowel habits, for no apparent reason, is something to be noted.
- Bowel cancer symptoms: The warning sign in your body to watch out for
This can include diarrhoea – loose and watery stools – that has lasted for three weeks or longer.
Additionally, constipation for three weeks or more is also concerning.
Macmillan Cancer Support identified seven other symptoms of bowel cancer. For instance, blood in, or on, your faeces is worth noting down.
As is any bleeding from the back passage, whether it be bright red or dark blood.
Some bowel cancer sufferers report pain in their stomach (abdomen) or back passage.
Again, if any of the symptoms ring true, write them down and detail the frequency.
Others state they feel as though no matter how many times they do a number two, their bowels continue to feel as though it’s not empty.
Another symptom is to experience unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness.
People with bowel cancer may also undergo unexplained weight loss – meaning they’ve not actively been trying to shift weight by exercising more, nor are they consuming any less.
Those with bowel cancer may also have a lower than normal level of red blood cells circulating in their bodies.
This is called anaemia – and it’s a significant factor that contributes to feelings of fatigue.
Although rare, individuals may feel as though they have an itchy bottom.
- Bowel cancer symptoms: Five signs you need to watch out for
During this coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in a partial lockdown, it’s still important to discuss any symptoms with a healthcare professional.
At the moment, GP surgeries are offering online consultations with doctors and nurses.
You can also make a telephone appointment with the doctor, which can be arranged for you by the GP’s receptionist over the telephone.
To make the most of the limited amount of time with the healthcare professional, it’s advisable to be clear from the beginning.
Tell the healthcare professional you’re concerned you may have bowel cancer, and you can then discuss your symptoms.
Bowel Cancer UK correctly states: “Early diagnosis really does save lives.”
This is because the cancerous tumour is likely to be small and contained to the one area.
The sooner a diagnosis is made, the more quickly a treatment plan can be devised and implemented.
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