Bowel cancer also called “colorectal cancer” is one of the five most common cancers in the world. However the symptoms of this cancer which affects the colon and rectum are not easy to detect. According to Bowel Cancer UK, people over the age of 50 are most likely to be affected while men are slightly more at risk that women. In Britain bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer with 42, 000 people being diagnosed every year. Nevertheless this cancer is treatable and can be cured especially if diagnosed quickly. This is why it is important to know what signs to look out for so you can be treated as soon as possible.
1) Frequent stomach cramps
Stomach or abdominal cramps are often forgotten about as it is a symptom that is often linked with many other illness. However if these cramps become more intense and more frequent your should speak to you doctor as soon as possible so that the can identify the cause. In some cases this symptom can be linked to bowel cancer.
2) Unusual tiredness
If you feel constantly tired despite the fact you are getting a good nights sleep, eating a healthy diet and carrying our regular exercise this would explain an unusual type of tiredness. If you are suffering from bowel cancer, cancerous cells consume the body’s energy which is why you can feel tired without any reasonable explanation. Speak to you doctor if you think you are suffering from unexplained tiredness.
3) Rapid weight loss
As cancerous cells are feeding of your body’s available energy, it can also lead to rapid weight loss. If you notice that you have been losing weight despite the fact that you are still eating a regular diet and that you daily habits have not changed you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
4) Problems with constipation
In the majority of bowel cancer cases, those who are affected often suffer from frequent or irregular constipation difficulties. If you think that you are affected by this symptom you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible who can recommend additional exams which could help diagnose the problem.
5) Gas and bloating
When you have persistent problems with bloating and gas and it is accompanied with one or several of the above symptoms, it could be caused by a tumor in the colon. Over time this tumor can block the colon making it difficult for gas to escape and causing problems with bloating.
Speak to your doctor or a specialist if you are unsure about what these symptoms might mean.
So that you can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer, it is recommended that you follow a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, fibre and wholemeal cereals and to exercise everyday for at least 30 minutes. You should also avoid alcohol and smoking if you suffer from digestive difficulties.