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Be Bowel Aware with Sky HISTORY

Learn about the symptoms of bowel cancer

This Bowel Cancer Awareness Month learn about the symptoms of bowel cancer with Sky HISTORY

Image: Sky HISTORY / Bowel Cancer UK /

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer with 43,000 people diagnosed each year.

Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Knowing the symptoms of bowel cancer could save your life. For Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Sky HISTORY has partnered with Bowel Cancer UK to help raise awareness of the second biggest cancer killer that claims 16,500 lives in the UK every year.

As Dr Lisa Wilde, Director of Research and External Affairs at Bowel Cancer UK says: 'Bowel cancer remains the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, but we’re determined to change that. The disease is treatable if diagnosed early, which is why this Bowel Cancer Awareness Month we’re putting the spotlight firmly on the red flag symptoms to look out for. Knowing what to look out and contacting your doctor straight away if something doesn’t feel right really could save your life.'

So what are the symptoms to look out for?

Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

Bright red blood may come from swollen blood vessels (haemorrhoids or piles) or from polyps (non-cancerous growths). It may also be caused by bowel cancer. Dark red or black blood may come from your bowel or stomach. Tell your doctor about any bleeding so they can find out what is causing it.

A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit

Tell your GP if you have noticed any persistent and unexplained changes in your bowel habit, especially if you also have bleeding from your bottom.

Unexplained weight loss

This is less common than some of the other symptoms. Speak to your GP if you have lost weight and you don't know why. You may not feel like eating if you feel sick, bloated or if you just don't feel hungry.

Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

Bowel cancer may lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can cause anaemia (lack of red blood cells). If you have anaemia, you are likely to feel very tired and your skin may look pale.

A pain or lump in your tummy

You may have pain or a lump in your stomach area (abdomen) or back passage. See your GP if these symptoms don't go away or if they're affecting how you sleep or eat.