Bowel cancer warning: Common symptom you may be missing – should you speak to a doctor?
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers to be diagnosed in the UK. You should consider speaking to a doctor if you notice that you’re feeling more run down than normal, without any obvious explanation.
Bowel cancer is a general term for any cancer that develops in the large bowel, and it may sometimes be known as colon or rectal cancer.
The early warning signs of bowel cancer can be very subtle, and many people may not be aware that they’re at risk.
That’s why it’s crucial that you always check your stools after using the toilet.
But, you could also reveal whether you’re at risk of the disease in other ways, including checking the colour of your skin, and your energy levels.
Persistent tiredness could be an early warning sign of bowel cancer, according to charity Bowel Cancer UK.
Feeling fatigued is very common, and isn’t usually caused by anything serious.
But, if you’re finding that you’re overly tired, despite not doing vigorous exercise or getting enough sleep, it could be caused by an underlying condition.
Bowel cancer patients often feel tired on a day-to-day basis, owing to a lack of iron in the body, said the charity.
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“If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them. Doctors are used to seeing lots of people with bowel problems,” said Bowel Cancer UK.
“Bowel cancer may lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can cause anaemia [lack of red blood cells].
“If you have anaemia, you are likely to feel very tired and your skin may look pale.
“But if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, go to see your GP.”
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Tiredness or exhaustion the goes on for a long period of time isn’t normal, warned the NHS.
Unexplained fatigue is one of the most common reasons why people go and see their doctor.
It could be caused by stress, anxiety, sleep apnoea, or an underactive thyroid.
Cutting back on the amount of alcohol or caffeine in your diet may help you to feel more energetic throughout the day.
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You could lower your risk of bowel cancer by making some small diet or lifestyle changes.
Eating large amounts of red and processed meats have been linked with a higher likelihood of bowel cancer.
Smoking, drinking too much alcohol and obesity could also lead to the disease, the NHS warned.
More than 90 percent of all bowel cancer causes occur in people over the age of 50.
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