Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, affecting tens of thousands of people each year.

It starts in the colon or rectum and is also known as colorectal cancer.

Leading cancer charity Bowel Cancer UK are raising awareness of the signs and symptoms as part of bowel cancer awareness month.

43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the UK and although it is very treatable, the earlier it’s diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.

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People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread.

Royal Borough Observer: A Cat Scanner (Julien Behal/PA)A Cat Scanner (Julien Behal/PA)

Bowel cancer symptoms

The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit 
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. But if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, go to see your GP. 

43,000 people diagnosed each year in the UK

Bowel Cancer UK said that if bowel cancer is caught early it can be cured, with nearly everyone diagnosed at an early stage surviving.

But these odds drop significantly if a patient’s cancer has had a chance to spread.

It said that if more people are aware of symptoms then more will seek help at an earlier stage.

Dr Lisa Wilde, director of research and external affairs at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Bowel cancer remains the UK’s second-biggest cancer killer, and it’s shocking that people aren’t aware of the symptoms to look out for.

“If you notice any signs of bowel cancer, or if things just don’t feel right for you, please visit your GP.

“While the disease largely affects people over the age of 50, more than 2,600 under 50s are diagnosed each year, so it’s really important people seek advice as soon as possible – whatever their age – if they’re worried."

Nearly 43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK.

It is the nation’s second-biggest cancer killer and is the cause of 16,500 deaths every year in Britain.

To find out more visit Bowel Cancer UK’s website: www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk