Bowel cancer symptoms: What does your stool say about you?

Bowel cancer symptoms: What does your stool say about you?



Bowel cancer causes 16,000 deaths a year, making it the second biggest cancer killer in the UK behind lung cancer.Every 30 minutes, another person in the UK dies from the disease, accounting for 10 percent of all cancer deaths.A staggering 41,000 bowel cancer cases are diagnosed each year in the UK.This equates to a diagnosis every 15 minutes, with one in 14 men and one in 19 women likely to develop the condition in their lifetime.Up to 95 percent of bowel cancer cases could be treated with no complications if diagnosed early, according to Ramsay Health Care UK.But fewer than 10 percent of people diagnosed at the latest stage of bowel cancer will survive for more than five years.Knowledge of the early signs of the condition can lead to more early diagnoses and prevent unnecessary deaths.Unfortunately, the stigma related to the main symptom of bowel cancer – blood in your stools – often means that people are too embarrassed to go to their GP.According to a survey conducted by Ramsay Health Care of 1,000 people, only 21.8 percent would visit their doctor the first time they noticed blood in their stools.Almost one third of people would wait at least a week before consulting a doctor and, most shockingly, nearly 10 percent said they wouldn’t consult a doctor at all. Bowel cancer risk factors Mon, April 3, 2017 Bowel cancer: Here are the risk factors of the disease to be aware of. Play slideshow Bowel cancer risk factors Most often, if blood in your stools is bright, fresh blood, the bleeding is cause by an anal tear or piles.Blood from higher up the bowel goes dark red or black and can make your stools look like tar. This type of bleeding can be a sign of bowel cancer.A change in bowel habit lasting a few weeks or more, especially looser or runny stools, could also be a sign of the cancer.Bowel Cancer Consultant Ash Gupta detailed the symptoms to look out for. “If changes in your bowel habits persist for more than three weeks, or if you have noticed blood in your stools, consult your doctor immediately. These are the key signs that people, especially over-50s who are at most risk, should regularly check for.”Additional, lesser-known symptoms include weight loss, abdominal pains or abdominal lumps. “These are symptoms that many people fail to recognise,” he added.“If you do notice bleeding in your stools or persistent loose stools or increased frequency of stools, a camera test called colonoscopy or sometimes even just a limited study called flexible sigmoidoscopy may be required to diagnose and even treat early polyps at the same time.”To reduce your risk of diagnosis, Cancer Research UK advises increasing your intake of fish, whole grains, fruit and vegetables.It warns against having too much red meat, sugar, fried foods or alcohol in your diet.One woman, who statistically “shouldn’t have had bowel cancer”, was diagnosed with the condition at 35 years old. She described her symptoms on ITV’s Lorraine.“I thought, for about five months, I h

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