Bowel Cancer Symptoms/

Recognising bowel cancer symptoms and acting quickly is important for early detection of the disease.

Like Jodi, many people do not experience any bowel cancer symptoms until the cancer has become more advanced or spreads to other parts of the body. In fact, bowel cancer can be present for many years before showing any symptoms.

Many people will also experience some of these symptoms during their lives but they will be associated with bowel problems like irritable bowel syndrome or haemorrhoids, not bowel cancer.

Regardless of your age, speak to your GP immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements, even if only occasional
  • A change in bowel habits for longer than two weeks, such as:
    – Going to the toilet more frequently
    – Constipation
    – Loose or watery bowel movements
    – Feeling that the bowel does not completely empty
    – Bowel movements that are narrower than usual
  • Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness or cramps
  • Persistent and severe abdominal pain
  • A lump in your stomach or rectum
  • Unexplained feelings of tiredness, breathlessness or a lack of energy
  • Unexplained weight loss or vomiting

Bowel cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death in Australia, and the leading cancer killer in 25-34 year olds – but it doesn’t have to be.

There are 15,500 Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer every year, and many are not aware of the symptoms. Acting quickly when you first notice symptoms is the key, because if detected early up to 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.

Symptom Checker HERE

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