Bowel cancer is the most common forms of cancer in the UK. It’s estimated that if bowel cancer is picked up at the earliest stage, more than nine in ten patients survive the disease. If it is diagnosed at a later stage, however, nine in ten will die from the deadly disease. Knowing and spotting signs of bowel cancer is therefore integral for survival.
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Bowel cancer UK said: “Bowel cancer is now the second biggest cancer killer in the UK claiming more than 16,000 lives a year, that’s over 44 people every day.
“Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer.
“That’s almost 42,000 people every year and every 30 minutes someone dies from bowel cancer.”
Spotting or feeling a lump in the tummy along with pain is an early warning sign and could mean you’re at risk.
The NHS said: “The three main symptoms of bowel cancer are persistent blood in your poo.
“That happens for no obvious reason or is associated with a change in bowel habit.
“A persistent change in your bowel habit, which is usually having to poo more, and your poo may also become more runny.
“Persistent lower abdominal tummy pain, bloating or discomfort that’s always caused by eating and may be associated with loss of appetite.”
People with bowel cancer may also experience unexplained weight loss meaning they have not actively been trying to shift weight by diet or exercise.
Those with bowel cancer may also have a lower than normal level of red blood cells circulating in their bodies.
This condition is known as anaemia and it is a significant factor which contributes to feelings of fatigue.
Although rare, individuals may also experience an itchy bottom.
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A lump in the abdomen could cause visible swelling and may change the shape of the tummy.
A person with a lump in their tummy may notice symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, pain and bloating.
Lumps in the tummy are often described by their location. The abdomen is divided into four section called quadrants.
An abdominal lump may occur in the right upper quadrant, left upper quadrant, right lower quadrant or left lower quadrant.
The stomach is also divided into two sections: the epigastric section and the periumbilical section.
The periumbilical section is located below and around the belly button; the epigastric section is located above the belly button and below the ribs.
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