This type of cancer is common in the UK, with around 42,300 people being diagnosed with the condition each year. Both genders are susceptible to bowel cancer, and early treatment is necessary for longer term survival. Cancer Research UK noted symptoms of bowel cancer that can be found in men and women. Do pay attention if you’re suffering from a bit of a belly ache, as abdominal pain is one possible sign of the disease; there may also be a lump felt in the right side of the abdomen.
Three other signs of bowel cancer include unexplained weight loss, tiredness and breathlessness.
“See your GP if you are worried about any symptoms that you think could be caused by cancer in the bowel,” said Cancer Research UK.
When visiting your GP because of worrisome symptoms, these tips might help you get the most out of your appointment.
- Note down your symptoms, when they started, when they happen, and how often
- Anything that makes them worse or better
- Notify your GP if you’re worried about cancer
- Tell them if there’s a family history of cancer
- Ask the GP to explain anything you don’t understand
During the visit, the doctor might perform a rectal examination – when a gloved finger is put into the back passage to feel for any abnormalities.
“Obesity is a cause of bowel cancer,” warned Cancer Research UK; obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.
Smoking is also linked to the disease, with the risk of bowel cancer increasing with the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
Alcohol can also increase the risk of bowel cancer, and the risk of developing the disease heightens as you age.
If you’ve already had bowel cancer you’re also at an increased risk of another bowel cancer.
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