‘Trust Your Gut’ is our annual awareness campaign that raises awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, what they are and when to act. We are encouraging you to trust your ‘gut feeling’ when something doesn’t feel right by acting on your symptoms and talking to your GP.

Symptoms To Watch Out For/

Potential Causes/

Unusual gut symptoms can include:

Here’s just a few of the potential causes your GP or specialist might investigate:

  • Bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements, even if only occasional, should never be ignored
  • A change in bowel habits for longer than two weeks

– going to the toilet more frequently
– constipation
– loose or watery bowel movements
– feeling that the bowel does not completely empty
– bowel movements that are thinner than usual

  • Frequent gas, bloating, fullness or cramps
  • Unexplained feelings of tiredness, breathlessness or a lack of energy
  • Unexplained weight loss or vomiting
  • Chronic or new abdominal pain that exists for more than a few days
  • A lump in your abdomen or rectum
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Anal fissure
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Anaemia
  • Diverticular disease
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Food intolerance
  • Bowel cancer


  • Pregnancy
  • A reaction to medicines
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Gastric reflux
  • Gall stones
  • Coeliac
  • Parasites


Symptom Checker/

In partnership with Curtin University we developed a simple questionnaire called a Symptom Checker to help you work out when you should investigate symptoms further by visiting your GP.

The questionnaire is simple enough to be completed at home or with your pharmacist.

If the Symptom Checker recommends you follow up with your doctor, take the completed form with you. We urge you to make that appointment – it might just save your life.

Download our Symptom Checker HERE

Meet our experts/

Anna's Story/

Things hadn’t been right for a while, but at 39 years of age, and being pregnant with her fourth child, Anna’s GP understandably put her symptoms down to pregnancy-related issues. The most obvious was blood in her stool, and looking back she recalls feeling very tired, but working four days a week with three young children and another on the way, it seemed reasonable to feel that way at the time.

Eight months after her son was born, Anna came across our website where she read stories that sounded remarkably similar to her own, leading her to question if perhaps her symptoms were something more sinister.

The very next day Anna returned to her GP and was referred to a specialist for a colonoscopy. By this time, she had been experiencing symptoms for fifteen months.

The colonoscopy revealed a large tumour in her bowel, and her worst fears were realised when results confirmed she had cancer, which had spread to four lymph nodes. Soon after Anna had surgery, followed by six months of chemotherapy. She is now on the road to recovery and having regular check-ups to make sure she remains cancer-free.

Anna credits the Jodi Lee Foundation for saving her life and hopes her story will encourage others question what is happening to their bodies.

More on Preventing Bowel Cancer/