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Heather asked...

I suffer quite badly from IBS.

Tags: cancer

I suffer quite badly from IBS and more often than not end up with constipation weekly - due to the toxins etc from waste remaining in my bowels longer - does this mean I am at higher risk of getting bowel cancer?

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The answer

There is evidence that certain things can increase your risk of bowel cancer. Alcohol, smoking, obesity, and a diet rich in red and processed meats (such as bacon and sausages) are all known to increase the risk. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is not known to lead to an increased risk of bowel cancer. There is convincing evidence that dietary fibre protects you against bowel cancer, particularly cereals and whole grains. Try increasing the amount of fibre that you eat (many adults do not eat enough) and you may find the constipation improves too. Fruit, vegetables, wholegrain rice/ pasta and bread, seeds, nuts and oats are all different types of fibre you can try.

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