The symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and don’t necessarily make you feel ill. However, it’s worth trying simple treatments for a short time to see if they get better.
More than 90% of people with bowel cancer have one of the following combinations of symptoms:
- a persistent change in bowel habit – going more often, with looser stools and sometimes tummy (abdominal) pain
- blood in the stools without other piles (haemorrhoids) symptoms – this makes it unlikely the cause is haemorrhoids
- abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating – sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss
Constipation, where you pass harder stools less often, is rarely caused by serious bowel conditions.