Health Campaigns

Bowel Cancer

Symptoms of bowel cancer

The symptoms of bowel (colorectal) cancer can be:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A change in bowel habit lasting for 3 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
You might experience one, some, all of the above or no symptoms at all. Remember most symptoms will not be bowel cancer.

If you are worried about any symptoms that you think might be caused by bowel cancer, make an appointment with your doctor.

Just remember you'll not be wasting anyone's time by getting checked out. If it isn't serious, you'll put your mind at rest. If it's bowel cancer, early detection can make all the difference. Over 90% who are diagnosed at the earliest stage are successfully treated. So a trip to your doctor could save your life.

Testing for Bowel Cancer

Bowel cancer can be detected by a simple test, if you are over 50 then the test kit should be sent to you automatically.

If you are registered with a GP and eligible for bowel cancer screening, you will receive a letter and a leaflet explaining the home testing kit prior to receiving the kit itself. These will be sent to where you live.

If you are over the screening age you may be able to opt-in and request a kit, depending on where you live in the UK. More information can be found from your relevant national Bowel Screening Programme

What does the bowel cancer screening test do?

The home testing kit tests for faecal occult blood (hidden blood in poo). It does not diagnose bowel cancer.

If the home testing kit detects blood, you will be invited for a consultation with a specialist screening practitioner in your area. During this meeting, your test results and what happens next will be discussed.

Much more information can be found on the Bowel Cancer UK website:

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