The number of people dying of bowel cancer has fallen in recent years as early diagnosis has become more likely and access to effective treatment has improved
Bowel Cancer UK has outlined three changes in your normal toilet habits that could be a sign of the cancer, which is the fourth most common variety in the UK.
The charity has said it is treatable and curable, “especially if diagnosed early”.
The number of people dying of bowel cancer has been falling since the 1970s as early diagnosis has become more likely and access to effective treatment has improved.
Cancer Research UK has flagged a number of potential signs of the cancer, many of which may show up when you go to the toilet.
Blood in your poo, or a change in your normal bowel habit, can be a symptom in both men and women.
A change in bowel movements could mean looser poo, pooing more often or constipation.
Another sign could be a lump in your back passage or tummy, or feeling you need to strain your pack passage as if you need to poo – even after you’ve opened your bowels.
According to Bowel Cancer UK, you may also feel as though you’re not able to fully empty your bowels
While blood in poo can be a warning sign of bowel cancer, it is often due to other causes, the Express reports.
Cancer Research says: “See your GP if you are worried about any symptoms that you think could be caused by cancer in the bowel.”
“Your doctor won’t think you are wasting their time,” the charity continued.
Other conditions that could bring about these symptoms include piles or inflammatory bowel disease.
According to figures from Bowel Cancer UK, more than 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK.
It says that one in 15 men and one in 18 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer over the course of their lifetime.
While the exact cause of the cancer is not known, there are several things that can increase your chances of getting it.
According to the NHS, smoking is one habit that can increase your risk.
It is also more common in overweight or obese people, the health body added, as with in those who have had another condition – such as extensive ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease in the colon 0 for more than 10 years.
Everyone aged 60 to 74 who is registered with a GP and lives in England should automatically be sent a bowel cancer screening home test kit every two years.
Treatments for bowel cancer will vary depending on what form of the cancer a person has, how advanced it is and where it is.
The bowel is a very long organ that goes from the end of the small bowel to the anus. Most bowel cancer is diagnosed in the rectum, which is just above the anus.
At its most simple, you could have surgery to take away the affected bowel and then you’d go back to normal.
As bowel cancer progresses it becomes more difficult to deal with, and is treated by chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Sometimes this is before surgery, sometimes after. This would depend on whether the cancer has spread at all.