Bowel cancer begins in the large bowel and the back passage. It is also known as colorectal cancer. Treatment of bowel cancer depends on where the cancer starts in a person’s bowel and how far the cancer has spread. Early diagnosis is crucial for bowel cancer as the sooner it is spotted, the sooner treatment can begin, and the less serious the disease becomes. Noticing these signs when going to the toilet should not be ignored and could be a warning sign of early bowel cancer. What are they?
Blood in stools
Seeing blood in stools can be an early sign of bowel cancer. Most often, blood in the stool is from piles, especially if it is bright red, fresh blood.
Piles are like swollen veins in the back passage. These veins are fragile and can easily get damaged when a person passes a bowel motion, causing a little bleeding.
Blood from higher up in the bowel doesn’t look bring red. When there is a more darker red or even black and almost makes the stools look like tar.
This type of bleeding can be a sign of cancer higher up in the bowel.
Changes in bowel habit
If a person experiences a persistent change in bowel habits it could be a warning sign of bowel cancer.
These persistent changes could include needing to go more often or having looser stools.
The changes could also relate to experiencing constipation or having diarrhoea.
Experiencing a change in frequency, consistency, or having a different caliber of stools should not be ignored and it is advised to speak with your GP about the possible cause.
Experiencing a persistent lower abdominal pain, bloating or having discomfort that’s always caused by eating and may be associated with loss of appetite or a significant unintentional weight loss is a warning sign of bowel cancer.
According to Bupa, a persistent pain or a discomfort in the tummy could be a warning sign of the disease.
If you experience any of these signs it is important to discuss it with your GP. Surgery is the most common treatment for bowel cancer.
If you have cancer in your colon the surgeon will remove the part that’s affected. They may also remove some of the lymph nodes close by.
If you have cancer in your rectum, the surgeon will remove the cancer and the surrounding tissue.
They may also remove some of the lymph nodes too.