Early detection of cancer can be the difference between life and death.
And it’s no different to bowel cancer, a disease that claims the lives of 46 Britons every day, according to Cancer Research UK.
Bowel canceralso known as colon cancer, is the second deadliest form of the disease in the UK.
Early diagnosis saves lives, which is why The Sun launched No time 2 lose campaign in April 2018, calling on the government to lower the screening age for the disease from 60 to 50.
Bowel Cancer UK has also previously launched its own “Never Too Young” campaign. after it was revealed that millions of people didn’t know you could get bowel cancer before the age of 50.
Here are three symptoms to look out for when you go to the bathroom:
One of the most obvious red flags when it comes to bowel cancer is blood in your stool.
Bowel Cancer UK says: “There are several possible causes of rectal bleeding or blood in the bowels (poop).
“Bright red blood can come from swollen blood vessels (hemorrhoids or hemorrhoids) in your anus. It can also be caused by bowel cancer.
“Dark red or black blood may be coming from your intestines or stomach. Tell your doctor about any bleeding so they can find out what’s causing it.’
2. Change in bowel habits
If you notice a change in your usual toileting habits, you should make an appointment with your GP.
It could be that you need to go to the toilet more often or that you are not as regular.
Bowel Cancer UK says it can also feel like you’re not able to empty your bowels completely when you go to the toilet.
3. Pain or lump
Bowel Cancer UK says: “You may have pain or a lump in your abdomen (belly) or back. See your GP if these symptoms persist or if they affect your sleep and eating.’
While these are the three main symptoms that affect your toileting habits, you should also pay attention to unexplained weight loss and fatigue.
Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer, but it is important to see your GP if you are concerned.
These symptoms can also be a sign of less serious conditions such as constipation, tumors, diarrhea, anal fissures, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease.
If you’re worried, you can keep a symptom diary so that when you visit your GP you can better understand how long your symptoms have been going on and how they may have changed.