Bowel cancer symptoms

17 October 2018

Increasing bowel cancer awareness

Would you find it embarrassing to be open and honest about worrying bowel symptoms? Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s crucial for successful diagnosis and treatment.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK, with around 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

About one in every 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime. (NHS choices)

Thanks to campaigns by Bowel Cancer UK, the stigma surrounding bowel issues is decreasing.

Bowel cancer awareness

Bowel Cancer UK’s latest campaign, Stand Out To Stop Bowel Cancer, focused on people wearing mad, bright or outrageous clothes to boost awareness of bowel cancer. On 3 July, it was a day when dressing up as Superman or Shrek, or wearing clashing colours for work, was perfectly acceptable.

The campaign goal was to make people aware that it’s acceptable and normal to discuss bowel issues, especially with your doctor. Hiding them away and ignoring they’re happening could have serious consequences for your health.

Signs and symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • Blood in your stools or bleeding from your rectum
  • A sudden change in your bowel habits (diarrhoea or constipation) that lasts more than three weeks
  • Losing weight for no reason no information behind this link
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Feeling bloated

These symptoms are also associated with various other common health issues, which is another good reason why you should speak to your doctor if you experience any of them. If necessary, they can investigate the symptoms further and may well be able to put your mind at rest.

By encouraging people to stand up and stand out, Bowel Cancer UK hopes to transform the five year survival rates from one in two people, to three out of four, by 2025.

You can find out more by reading our bowel cancer fact sheet. Or why not ask one of our experts a question?