Catch the early signs of bowel cancer by monitoring your stool.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the UK, and it’s the second deadliest. Normally, the chances of treating and curing this cancer are quite high but the problem is that the symptoms are so subtle that many people do not get diagnosed until it’s too late. Chief executive at Bowel Cancer UK, Genevieve Edwards said:
Bowel cancer remains the second biggest cancer killer in Scotland—it’s shocking that people aren’t aware of the symptoms to look out for.
Bowel cancer symptoms to watch out for
If you have been needing to go to the bathroom more frequently, and you have had runnier stool, along with abdominal pain, then pay close attention to your bowel movements for the next three weeks. See your GP if things do not get better.
Another sign could be seeing blood in your poo. Professor Wishart told Express Health:
The blood can be fresh (red) and sometimes mixed with mucus or alternatively it can make the faeces black and tar-like.
Although, keep in mind that bloody stool can also be caused by hemorrhoids so if you are feeling other symptoms associated with hemorrhoids like itchiness and anal pain then you can rule out bowel cancer.
Finally, check to see the size and shape of your stool. According to the the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (CCA), if your poo starts looking more narrow that usual, it could be an early sign of bowel cancer.
Take immediate action
The NHS has stated that 90% of bowel cancer patients have reported getting one of these symptoms so if you’re persistently observing these types of stools Edwards suggests to get it checked as soon as possible. She added:
If you notice any signs of bowel cancer, or if things just don’t feel quite right, please visit your GP. While the disease largely affects people over the age of 50, around 2500 under 50s are diagnosed each year in the UK, so it’s really important people seek advice as soon as possible – whatever their age – if they’re worried.