What else could it be?
There are many common conditions that can affect the health of our bottoms and bowels, and many have symptoms similar to bowel cancer.
Although you might feel embarrassed to talk about them, it is important to get checked out by your doctor if you notice anything unusual. in most cases, the diagnosis will not be bowel cancer, but if you have symptoms and are worried, make an appointment to talk to your GP.
The higher risk symptoms of bowel cancer are:
Bleeding from the bottom without any obvious reason. If you have symptoms such as straining, soreness, lumps or itchiness, the problem is likely to be piles (haemorrhoids), but it’s still important to get this confirmed by your GP.
A persistent change in bowel habit, especially going to the toilet more or experiencing looser stools for more than three weeks.
Persistent, severe abdominal pain or a lump in your tummy (abdomen).
Weight loss and tiredness (a symptom of anaemia).
Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer, but it is very important to have further tests to rule it out. Your symptoms could be caused by other common conditions, that can be treated or controlled by your GP, such as:
- Piles (haemorrhoids)
- Anal fissures
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Diverticular disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
Bowel cancer affects over 41,000 people every year – men and women of all ages – and claims almost 50 lives every day. BUT if bowel cancer is caught early over 90% of cases can be treated successfully. If you have symptoms and you are worried, make an appointment and talk to your GP.