Bowel cancer is treatable and curable if diagnosed early. Don’t miss out on a chance to save your life, spot the symptoms. What itchy body part could signal the disease?
Macmillan Cancer Support provides specialist healthcare information.
The charity details the eight symptoms of bowel cancer to raise awareness of the illness.
Although rare, an itchy bottom is one sign of the disease.
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Another is unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness.
This can be accompanied by weight loss (not achieved through dieting or exercise).
Furthermore, blood in, or on, your stools – or bleeding from your back passage – can also be symptoms of bowel cancer.
The blood present can either be bright red or dark.
Additionally, a change in your normal bowel habit is a significant factor to take note of.
This is especially true when it happens for no obvious reasons and takes places for three weeks or longer.
Examples of a change in bowel habit can include constipation or diarrhoea.
And you may feel as though you haven’t emptied your bowels properly after you’ve passed faeces.
You may also experience pain in your tummy or back passage.
And you may have lower than normal levels of red blood cells, which is medically known as anaemia.
Macmillan points out that above symptoms may also be a result of other health conditions.
However, all symptoms should be discussed with a GP.
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Moreover, if symptoms don’t improve within a few weeks, or if the symptoms become worse, it’s important to be referred to a specialist.
At present, the NHS bowel screening is first offered to those registered with a GP who are between the ages of 50 and 60 years old.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, if you’re aged between 60 and 74, you’ll be sent a home screening kit every two years.
If you’re over the age of 75 and would like to be tested, call the Macmillan bowel screening helpline on 0800 707 6060.
In Scotland, home screening tests will be delivered from the age of 50.
The National Screening Committee has recommended that the FOB home testing kit is to be replaced with the FIT test.
Both of the testing kits check for hidden blood in poo, which can be a sign of bowel cancer.
The former test (FOB) needed three samples whereas the FIT test only requires one.
Results will be posted to your door within two weeks.
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