Symptoms of bowel cancer
The three main symptoms of bowel cancer are:
Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. These symptoms should be taken more seriously as you get older and when they persist despite simple treatments.
If your symptoms are suggestive or the diagnosis is uncertain, you will usually be referred to the hospital for further tests.
The two tests used for this are colonoscopy or computerised tomography (CT) colonography.
Emergency referrals, such as people with bowel obstruction, will be diagnosed by a CT scan.
Surgery is usually the main treatment for bowel cancer, and may be combined with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or biological treatments, depending in each case.
If detected early enough, treatment can cure bowel cancer and stop it coming back.