Bowel cancer is cancer that starts in the large bowel. It happens when abnormal cells divide and grow in an uncontrolled way.
The bowel is split into two parts: the small bowel and the large bowel. The large bowel includes the colon, back passage (rectum) and the bowel opening (anus).
Depending on where it starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK. Most people who get it are over the age of 50 and nearly 60% of cases are in people aged 70 or over. But bowel cancer can affect anyone of any age.
Screening for bowel cancer can save lives, as it is treatable and curable especially if caught early. Around 90% of people with stage 1 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for five years or more after they are diagnosed.
Signs and symptoms:
In some cases, bowel cancer can stop digestive waste passing through the bowel. This is known as a bowel obstruction.
Symptoms of a bowel obstruction can include:
A bowel obstruction is a medical emergency. If you suspect your bowel is obstructed, go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your nearest hospital.
For more information from the NHS on symptoms of bowel cancer click the link below.
For more information on bowel cancer from the NHS click the link below.