Bowel Cancer Symptoms
It is estimated that 80 Australians die from bowel cancer every week. Research shows that bowel cancer can be treated successfully if detected early. If you are experiencing bowel cancer symptoms consult your doctor to book a colonoscopy.
Fewer than 40 per cent of colorectal cancer is detected early because it can develop with without any symptoms.
Are You At Risk?
Once you have read the important information below and would like to be screened for bowel cancer, you will need to follow this procedure:
Signs of bowel cancer
- bleeding from the rectum or any sign of blood after a bowel motion
- a recent and persistent change in bowel habit, for example looser bowel motions, severe constipation and/or needing to go to the toilet more than usual
- unexplained tiredness (a symptom of anaemia)
- abdominal pain.
Who is at Risk?
If you fit any of the following criteria you may be at risk of developing bowel cancer even if you are not experiencing symptoms of bowel cancer:
- Are aged 50 years and over (risk increases with age)
- Have a significant family history of bowel cancer or polyps
- Have had an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Have previously had special types of polyps, called adenomas, in the bowel.
No Bowel Cancer Symptoms? Get a colonoscopy for peace of mind
Approximately half of all Australians are likely to develop a bowel polyp during their lifetime, but the majority of these remain undetected. Although polyps are very common, they rarely produce symptoms.
If polyps are left untreated, a significant percentage of polyps will develop into bowel cancer. Most polyps can be identified and safely removed during a colonoscopy.
If you’ve presented with warning signs/symptoms, or you have a number of risk factors, your doctor will recommend testing to confirm what is causing the symptoms. Remember, a referral doesn’t equal diagnoses – as with a number of conditions that cause the same symptoms, the exact cause can only be identified with further investigations.
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
If you are an Australian citizens aged 50, 55 and 65 without symptoms with FOBT (faecal occult blood test) you should take advantage of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
Contact Direct Endoscopy if you have questions about bowel cancer symptoms or to book a colonoscopy to diagnose or prevent bowel cancer.