Know the symptoms of bowel cancer

Published: 17 April 2023

During this month’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, we are asking people to brush up on their knowledge of the most common symptoms of bowel cancer. If caught early there’s a better chance of successful treatment.
The most common red flag signs of bowel cancer are:

  • bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • unexplained weight loss
  • extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • a pain or lump in your tummy

Most people with these symptoms won’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. But if you experience one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, get in touch with your doctor’s surgery straight away.
If you are aged between 56 and 74 you should have received a home test kit in the post. Please make sure you complete the test and return it as soon as possible. If you are not eligible for the test, please encourage friends and family who are. The tests can pick up very early signs of bowel cancer – the earlier it is found, the more successful the treatment.
Find out more about bowel cancer by taking the symptoms quiz, and then share it with your friends and family. You can also join an online awareness talk given by a volunteer with real life experience of bowel cancer.
For more information about bowel cancer and details of how to get involved during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, visit the Bowel Cancer UK website.