Can you name the five most common symptoms of bowel cancer? According to a recent study by the charity Bowel Cancer UK, if your answer is yes, then you fall in the minority!
Also known as colorectal, rectal or colon cancer. These names depend on where the cancer is located. It can affect any part of the colon or rectum. Bowel cancer Australia, stated that 99% of bowel cancer can be easily treated if it is diagnosed at an early stage. Henceforth, it is very important to be aware of the symptoms of this cancer. Although it is easily treatable (if found at an early stage), but if ignored, it is proven to be fatal!
In a poll of 4,000 UK adults carried out in April 2018, the charity found. Firstly, only a quarter of people (25%) could list the five most common symptoms. Secondly, more than one in three people (35%) couldn’t name a single symptom. Finally, nearly half of all men taking part (45%) were unable to spot any of the signs of cancer.
Bowel cancer is the UK’s fourth most common cancer and our second biggest cancer killer. The disease is responsible for around 16,000 deaths per year. Hence, we can describe the survey findings as “alarming” (Bowel Cancer UK).
Check your symptoms today, before it’s too late!
The five most common symptoms of bowel cancer are:
· Blood in stool – this might be bright red, dark red or black.
· Persistent and unexplained change of bowel habit – poo may be looser or an urge to poo more often. Sometimes a feeling might occur as if the bowels are not completely emptying.
· Pain or lump in tummy or bottom- the feeling of uneasiness in your tummy due to pain.
· Unexplained weight loss – the feeling of sickness or bloatedness or loss of appetite.
· Tiredness or fatigue – bowel cancer can lead to a lack of iron in the body. This can cause anaemia, which in return can cause tiredness or fatigue.
Out of all the symptoms mentioned, 53% of those surveyed claimed to have blood in their poo (a more common and possible symptom). 43% of people would recognize a change of bowel habit as a possible symptom. Whereas, just 2% would link extreme tiredness or fatigue with the disease. The other four symptoms achieved far lower awareness than others.
I agree that sometimes we are not aware of everything around us. However, we need to be more alert and proacive. So, if you are one of those people who score low on awareness for this cancer, don’t worry! We will discuss some possible symptoms here. It’s worth spending a few minutes getting to know what could save our lives.
Did you know?
Bowel cancer is very treatable if it is caught early. In fact, nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive the disease. Sadly, however, only around 15% of people are diagnosed with bowel cancer at this stage. More people need to be aware of the symptoms so that they visit their GP sooner.
The longer this cancer goes undiagnosed, the more chance it has to spread to other parts of your body. Once it does this, your chances of survival are far lower.
Around 42,000 people a year in the UK are diagnosed with bowel cancer. More than nine out of 10 new cases (94%) are people over the age of 50. Although it can affect people of any age.
If you are invited to take part in bowel cancer screening it is important that you do so. This is because early diagnosis of bowel cancer(often before there are any symptoms) is the key to saving lives.
Over 50 age group? Want to take a preventative approach to your healthcare? Let me tell you a solution- a colonoscopy is the most thorough test for diagnosing colorectal cancers.
GI Doctors offer private colonoscopy testing in the comfort of one of our London practices.
Read how to prepare for a colonoscopy and what to expect
Whilst the test is not something people look forward to, the benefits far outweigh the small discomfort and ultimately could be the thing that saves your life, or the life of someone you love.
Contact our team to book an appointment.