Bowel cancer awareness is on the rise as popular soap Emmerdale covers the life-threatening condition. But what three signs could signal the disease?
Also known as colorectal cancer, bowel cancer affects the large bowel – made up go the colon and rectum.
When cells begin to reproduce at an uncontrolled rate, a cancerous tumour forms.
Bowel Cancer UK report around 268,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with the deadly condition.
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The Mayo Clinic detail three warning signs of bowel cancer.
Persistent abdominal discomfort is one alarming symptom of the disease.
To illustrate, persistent cramping in the abdominal area is one possible sign of bowel cancer.
Another indicator of the disease is constantly feeling as though your belly is full of gas.
Moreover, a painful stomach is also a symptom of bowel cancer.
Bowel Cancer UK also lists possible symptoms of bowel cancer as follows:
- Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
- A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
- A pain or lump in your tummy
Sometimes, a tumour can block the bowel, resulting in sudden strong pains in the stomach area, bloating and feeling or being sick.
This is called a bowel obstruction.
Do note that the symptoms outlined above aren’t always an indication of bowel cancer.
At times, these symptoms can reveal another underlying health condition.
Bowel obstructions, for example, can also happen in those who suffer from diverticular disease.
Other possible health conditions, which present themselves in the symptoms above, include Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
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According to Bowel Cancer UK, 54 percent of all bowel cancers could be prevented by leading a healthier lifestyle.
The charity announces dietary changes could help reduce a person’s risk of developing the disease.
For instance, it’s advised to avoid processed meat and to limit how much red meat is consumed.
Furthermore, eating plenty of fibre from wholegrain, pulses, fruit and vegetables is highly recommended.
Eleven out of 100 cases of bowel cancer can be attributed to being overweight.
This is why it’s crucial to be physically active and to maintain a healthy weight.
Leading an unhealthy lifestyle is one risk factor of developing bowel cancer.
Another is having a history of non-cancerous growths (polyps) in your bowel.
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