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SiSU Wellness

Spot the symptoms early

Last Updated: 13 December 2018








Spot the symptoms early

Bowel cancer, also known as colon or colorectal cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer deaths in Australia. Despite this, if diagnosed early, over 90% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.

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:

  • exercising regularly

  • eating well (avoiding too much red and processed meat and increasing fibre intake are key)

  • stopping smoking

  • 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
(MSc Nutrition)




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