Unfortunately, as many of the early symptoms are similar to other bowel and digestive disorders, diagnosis is often overlooked until the later more critical stages.
Do you know the symptoms?
1. Change in bowel habits – it could be going more or less often, looser stools or constipation
2. Bleeding from the bottom or blood in your stools
3. Pain in the abdomen – it could be constant or intermittent pain, cramps or colic like symptoms
4. A lump in the abdomen
5. Unexplained weight loss
6. Unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness
Get it checked out
If you’ve had any of the above symptoms for three weeks or more it’s important to talk about them with your health professional as soon as possible – there can be many explanations for the symptoms above so try not to panic.
Reduce your risk
Many lifestyle factors can influence your chances of developing bowel cancer. Reduce your risk by:
eating well (avoiding too much red and processed meat and increasing fibre intake are key)
cutting back on alcohol
maintaining a healthy weight
For more information on symptoms, treatment and prevention of bowel cancer take a look at http://www.bowelcanceraustralia.org/bca/
Written by Ruth Tongue