This Morning: Dr Zoe reveals she had bowel cancer scare
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Bowel cancers warning signs and symptoms often lie in the toilet and if noticing a change in your stools, it could indicate your risk. What should you look out for?
Bowel cancer is a general term for any cancer that develops in the large bowel, and it may sometimes be known as colon or rectal cancer.
The early warning signs of bowel cancer can be very subtle, and many people may not be aware that they’re at risk.
That’s why it’s crucial that you always check your stools after using the toilet.
One of the easiest ways to know if you’re at risk of bowel cancer is to check your stools.
Medicine Net listed the three warning signs found in the type of stools you may produce. They include:
Black poop is a red flag for cancer of the bowel. Blood from in the bowel becomes dark red or black and can make poop stools look like tar. Such poop needs to be investigated further.
Poop which is bright red may be a sign of colon cancer. Red poop may be seen in cancers of the lower intestine.
The stools as thin as a pencil may also need investigation.
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According to The Royal Marsden, a specialist cancer hospital affiliated with the NHS, blood or mucus in your poo may signal the deadly disease.
There may also be increasing constipation, or perhaps alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhoea, says the health body.
“A feeling that you haven’t completely emptied your bowels is quite common if the tumour is in the rectum,” it says.
This can be uncomfortable, and you may constantly feel the urge to go to the toilet, it adds.
Experiencing constipation or having looser stools could also be signs of bowel cancer.
Finding blood in your stools is one of the most common symptoms of bowel cancer.
More than 90 percent of all bowel cancer causes occur in people over the age of 50.
You could lower your risk of the disease by cutting back on the amount of alcohol in your diet, and by giving up smoking, if you’re a smoker.
Bowel Cancer UK report that bowel cancer affects around 268,000 people in the UK.
The charity adds: “More than 16,000 people die from bowel cancer in the UK every year.”
The NHS currently offers bowel cancer screening for people over the age of 60 within England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
People in Scotland are invited for bowel cancer screening from the age of 50.
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