For Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April, Love Your Gut ( has teamed up with Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer to help raise awareness of the symptoms and risk factors of bowel cancer. Below is a list of the 10 things you might not know about bowel cancer:

Blood in your poo can be a sign of bowel cancer

Blood in your poo can be a sign of bowel cancer

  1. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer.
  2. In a survey commissioned by Love Your Gut*, over 60% of people said they had suffered from symptoms that could be indicative of bowel cancer such as regular abdominal pain (18%) or bleeding when passing poo (9%).
  3. Most bowel cancers develop from pre-cancerous growths called polyps; however not all polyps will develop into cancer. Generally people will never know they have them, as they typically cause no symptoms. Polyps are usually found during an examination of the inside of the bowel or as part of a bowel cancer screening programme (a colonoscopy) and if your doctor finds any, he or she can remove them to lower the risk of bowel cancer developing.
  4. The risk of bowel cancer increases with age. People aged 50 or over are most at risk; however it can affect people of any age.
  5. An unhealthy lifestyle can affect your risk of developing bowel cancer including your diet, drinking excessive alcohol, smoking and not being physically active.
  6. You can also be at a bigger risk of bowel cancer if you have Type 2 diabetes or a longstanding inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. A strong family history of bowel cancer can also play a part.
  7. Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo can be a symptom of bowel cancer. A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit can also be another sign that is commonly ignored.
  8. Extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss and a pain or lump in your tummy/abdomen can be another symptom of bowel cancer.
  9. Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early so it is important to visit the GP if experiencing any of these symptoms or if things simply don’t feel right.
  10. The same survey which is referenced above from Love Your Gut*, showed that even after suffering the symptoms, 1 in 5 ignored them, 25% visited Google and only 53% visited their GP.


*A survey of 2,000 adults from the UK and Republic of Ireland conducted online on behalf of the Love Your Gut campaign by Mortar between 8 -11 August 2017.


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