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Symptoms of bowel cancer and reducing your risk

​​​​Bowel cancer symptom checker​

If you’re worried that you have unusual bowel symptoms, you should talk to your GP.

You could ​use the NHS Choices symptom checker to find out if your symptoms need more investigation.

Bowel cancer symptom checker on NHS Choices website

The early signs of bowel cancer: what to look out for

It's important to know what 'normal' bowel habits are for you, so you can spot any changes. ​

Unusual bowel symptoms include:

  • bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo​
  • a change in bowel habit lasting for three ​weeks or more especially to looser or runny poo
  • unexplained weight loss
  • extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • a pain or lump in your tummy​​

If you ever notice any of these unusual bowel symptoms​, tell your doctor immediately.

​We understand you might find it embarrassing, but seeing your GP early​ might save your life.

Reduce your risk of bowel cance​r

Bowel cancer is largely preventable. Around two-thirds of cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes.

You can help reduce your chances of getting bowel cancer by making changes to your lifestyle, especially the way you eat, drink and exercise, such as:

  • doing ​30 minutes of moderate exercise, five times per week
  • eating your '5-a-day' of fruit and vegetables
  • eating no more than two portions of red meat per week
  • stopping smoking​
  • reducing the amount of alcohol you drink

Bowel cancer prevention on NHS Choices website​​​

​How common is bowel cancer?​

​About one in 20 people will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime.

In Jersey, bowel cancer​ is amongst the top three common causes​ of cancer deaths.

Bowel cancer on NHS Choices website​

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