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Conditions

Bowel Cancer

Bowel cancer screening test

Bowel cancer is often referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer, and refers to a cancer that forms in the large bowel. It is the third most common cancer in the UK, and over 80% of cases are reported in the over 60s. The symptoms of bowel cancer are blood appearing in a person’s stools, alongside changes to a person’s normal bowel habits, pain in the stomach and weight loss. Though the causes are many, diet plays a strong part, with a diet rich in red and processed meat increasing that chance of developing bowel cancer by around 35%. Being overweight can also exacerbate the problem, as can smoking. If you are diagnosed with bowel cancer, the treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and biological therapy. The chance of successful treatment is linked to how advanced the cancer is, and how far it has spread. This makes early diagnosis important, so if you are over 60, or display any symptoms of bowel cancer, go to the NHS Bowel cancer Screening Programmme.

Comments and Questions

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my story,ive had rectal bleeding from the anus,on and off for 17 years,also know i have piles,as ive seen them on many occassions,,especially if i get diarroah which often makes them prolapse,and they then need pushing in with my finger,ive never been officially told my bleeding is from these piles,but i would assume it is,after such a long time with this problem,also the doc saying significant bleeding from the anus,rarely is a sign of cancer,has helped ease any doubt i might have,im 47 btw,,one other thing,the bleeding has always bee seperate from the stool





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I would just like everybody to know that my father, at age 43, was going to the GP after he had blood in his stool. After 18 months of persistently visiting his GP, they finally tested him for bowel cancer, and after those tests they discovered one of the largest tumours his surgeon had ever seen in that area. after a lot of treatment, he is frankly lucky to be alive but now in remission. I would please urge anyone with any symptoms to keep going to the doctors if the problem doesn't go away, ignoring it will never help! I never want anyone to be in the position we've been in. GO TO YOUR GP.





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hi,so glad your father is recovering,one question,was the bleeding in the stool,,or on top of it?

I have been concerned about my health for a while now, and am not sure whether I am right in thinking this is the problem or not. It has been on a number of regular occasions including this morning that I have gone to wipe my bum and there is very often blood on my tissue. I was unsure as to whether the sign is blood inn your actual stool or just blood occurring?





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I would go to see your GP, it could just be haemorrhoids or something not so sinister, but don't bet on the fact you'll just be okay, although you probably will be!it doesn't harm to get checked:)

Thanks Beth for the response, I did get in checked and thankfully it was hemorrhoids :)

Hi, I have had irregular or more different than normal bowel movements Upper abdominal pain, night sweats, weight loss & general feeling unwell, visited GP in Dec & was sent for blood, stool & urine tests. I had a call from GP to attend to discuss blood results. Was advised that Enzyme level was high. Due to Mother, Maternal Grandmother & Aunt, all having Bowel Cancer, am having a Colonoscopy. I am rather concerned was advised at Hosp by Consultant that Enzyme that was found is associated with Bowel Cancer? I understand I have to go for further investigative treatment, but can high Enzyme levels mean something else is a miss, Gall/Kidney stones?? As for over a Year I have had reoccurent Bladder infection with Blood in urine, & was just concerned it could have caused damage to Kidneys?? Should I be asking any other questions to GP or Consultant about high Enzyme levels?? Thank you





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Yes, 80% of bowel cancer cases are over 60, but please bare in mind that that 20% for those under 60 COULD be you. Don't rely solely on stats. I'm 23, and was diagnosed with an early stage of bowel cancer (cancerous polyp) months ago; if I hadn't persisted and gone to my GP SEVERAL times over the last year when the symptoms weren't improving, I could be a lot worse off than I am today. Remember people, early diagnosis is everything. Go to your GP if you notice any of these symptoms, especially bleeding. Trust me, a doctor rooting around down there is the least of your worries, especially compared to what you could end up with in years time if you're too embarrassed to seek medical help.





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For the past week l have had lower ab pain. It is getting worse. Now I know it is my bowel that hurts and I have blood in my stool.





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I WAKE IN THE MORNING OR SOMETIMES GET WOKEN UP BY ACHING IN MY LOWER BACK/STOMACH BUT ONCE I HAVE BEEN TO WEE OR FOR A POO IT SEEMS TO CLEAR CAN YOU HELP ME IN ANY WAY PLEASE.I SUFFER FROM DIVERTICULITAS HOPEFULLY SPELT RIGHT.





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I've had a change in my bowel movements for 13 years now. YES- (13 YEARS) It's a Grey colour sometimes and I seem to be producing more than I'm eating. I've had a camera up my back passage when it first started and a CT scan - nothing was found. I havent felt physically any worse in all the time this change has taking place. My question is can I rule out anything really sinister after so many years? or is it possible to have serious illness for so long. I'm overweight and have had a bad diet for many years.





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Hi. I was experiencing difficulties with my lower belly. I had cramps and was constipated very often. One time I was really worried that I had twisted bowel so I checked. Instead I found a small ball inside my bowel. I didnt worry too much. I checked again after few months and it seems bigger and hurts when touched. I don't know if I should be concerned. I am only 19 so this is quite embarrising but I'm starting to be stressed.





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Hi, for over a year I've been constipated and have been eating healthy etc and suffering from pain in my coxyxc when i sit or lay down poo or drive. I've also been doing stringy tiny poos when i did go.went to the docs and he gave me heavy dose laxatives and some clearance occured and now, im back to the stringy little poos and still in great pain. I feel as if there is something in my rectal passage which is stopping me from pooing properly but my doc is unsympathetic and has sent me away today with more laxatives and pile cream despite examining my back passage and telling me i had no evidence of piles. I'm constantly tired,in pain, gassy, bloated and when i do go there is bright red blood on the loo paper. I'm really worried about this issue, its causing me great pain, anxiety and embarressment and I want to get refered to a specialist but my doctor treats me as is im a hyopocondriact. Can anyone help me as to how i can succeed in getting a referal to a specialist or tell me what is going on? I eat a very healthy diet and drink plenty of water, dont even drink and I feel really let down and worried!





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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