With the sad passing of Deborah James, at only 40, we take a moment today to mark her legacy and post about the serious subject of Bowel Cancer.
Deborah, who campaigned for bowel cancer awareness put herself firmly into the spotlight despite being ill from the age of 35 and fought until the end to make people more aware of symptoms. Please take a moment to read.
- Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
There can be several reasons for rectal bleeding or blood in your bowel movements (poo).
Bright red blood may come from swollen blood vessels (haemorrhoids or piles) in your back passage. 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.
2. 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 back passage.
You may have looser poo and you may need to poo more often than normal.
Or you may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Important! Gerard McMahon, Head of External Affairs (Devolved Nations) at Bowel Cancer UK said: “Most people with these symptoms DON’T have bowel cancer, and other health problems can cause similar symptoms….but it is worth getting them checked at an early stage”
“If you do have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, contact your GP.”