Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, with nearly 41,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year in the country.
It’s also the third leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women in the United States, according to cancer.organd is responsible for the deaths of around 50,000 people a year in the country.
As with any type of cancer, early detection often offers more treatment options. And, while a colonoscopy is the best way to find out if you have this cancer, there are also early signs that can help you detect if you need to be concerned.
But what are the symptoms of possible bowel cancer? We asked an expert to guide us…
What is bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, affects the large intestine, says Bowel Cancer UK.
The large intestine, also called the large intestine, is made up of the colon and the rectum.
When cells in the body begin to divide and multiply out of control, it leads to the development of cancer, says Cancer Research UK.
Although bowel cancer is more likely to develop in the large intestine than the small intestine, cancer of the small intestine can still occur.
The small intestine contains the duodenum, the part of the intestine that connects to the stomach, and the ileum, the part of the intestine that connects to the large intestine.
When cells become cancerous in the large intestine, they can spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs. This is called advanced bowel cancer.
What are the main symptoms of bowel cancer?
“Bowel cancer symptoms can be easy to miss, and people often attribute stool changes or inflammation to what they eat or to changes in their body as they age. . However, delaying seeking help can put people at risk. As with many cancers, bowel cancer is curable if detected early,” says Elizabeth Rogers, Associate Clinical Director and General Practitioner at Bupa UK.
“If you notice blood in your stool, changes in your stool, bloating, or abdominal pain after eating, see your doctor as soon as possible. Don’t delay, early diagnosis saves lives. Other symptoms can be unexplained weight loss and extreme fatigue for no reason.
Even if there is no blood, get checked
The detection of traces of blood is a warning symptom that should never be ignored. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only symptom, so even if there’s no blood, see your GP. “You should see your doctor as soon as possible for any changes in bowel movements, bloating, or abdominal pain after eating,” Rogers says.
Watch out for changes
When it comes to our bowel habits, what is normal for one person may be different for another. For example, some people have more bowel movements each day, while others have them much less frequently. A useful setting is to go for a consultation if any changes are noticed that result in something unusual for one’s own habits.
“I always advise people to be aware of what’s normal for them,” Rogers says, “and to be on the lookout for unexplained or persistent changes, which could be an indicator of cancer.”
What if you already have a history of suspicious digestive symptoms?
Digestive problems are very common and these symptoms do not always indicate bowel cancer. They can also result from conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food intolerances, or inflammatory bowel disorders, among other causes. This can make it difficult to know when to see a doctor again, especially if these bowel problems have persisted. However, Rogers says it’s important to “see your GP” if you notice any of the changes listed above. If anything seems unusual, different, or worrisome, it’s best to go for a checkup.
Are there people at higher risk for bowel cancer?
Rogers says bowel cancer is “rare before age 40,” but it’s possible at any age. Some people may be at higher risk, for example “if you have a family history of bowel cancer, if you have an inherited bowel disease such as familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, also known as Lynch Syndrome”.
People with long-standing inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or who have a history of benign growths (polyps or adenomas) may also be at higher risk. Rogers notes that other factors, such as obesity, smoking, a diet low in fiber or high in processed and red meats, and excessive alcohol consumption, may also be associated with higher rates of breast cancer. the intestine.
Are you showing symptoms? Go to a check-up
The disease can also affect healthy and fit people. Roberts is known for her passion for healthy living and for being an excellent runner. So everyone should get checked out if they have any symptoms.