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Your Poop Might Be an Indicator for Bowel Cancer | Here’s How to Check

Your Poop Might Be an Indicator for Bowel Cancer | Here’s How to Check

Keeping a track of your bowel movements and observing the small changes will help you detect bowel cancer early.

A cancer diagnosis can be devastating. It is often found in the final stages because most of us tend to ignore our symptoms and hope for them to go away. Bowel cancer is one such illness that most people tend to overlook despite the signs being right there.

According to the NHS, "bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on where cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer."



 

 

Colon cancer can strike anyone at any age but is often found in older people. Small, benign (noncancerous) cell clusters called polyps commonly grow on the interior of the colon and are considered the first symptom of the condition. Some of these polyps may eventually develop into colon cancer, according to Mayo Clinic

What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

There are three main symptoms of cancer, and they are:

1. Noticing there is blood in your poop

Blood in your poo for no particular reason is the most common sign of something wrong. The blood can be dark or bright red, according to BBC.

2. A change in your poop and schedule

You may notice that you poop more often or less than usual. You might also realize that the texture and consistency of your poo is different. 

3. Persistent pain in your lower abdomen

Sometimes you might also feel pain or bloating in your lower abdomen, especially when your stomach feels full and tight. 



 

 

Additionally, if you've lost weight, feel dizzy or tired all the time, or feel that your bowel doesn't get properly emptied, then it's time to consult a doctor. 

How can you keep track of your poo and your bowel moments?

Now that the decision has been made to visit a doctor, it is important to observe your bowel moments and the waste you've passed, so you know what exactly you need to tell your doctor. 

What does the doctor do?

1. Make sure there are no lumps by checking your bottom and stomach.
2. Arrange for a quick blood test to check for iron deficiency anemia, which can reveal hidden bowel bleeding.
3. Get a quick test done to ensure that your symptoms aren't caused by something more serious.



 

 

What really causes bowel cancer?

1. Age: Nearly 90% of those who develop bowel cancer are 60 years of age or older;

2. Diet: Eating a lot of red or processed meats and little fiber can increase your risk;

3. Weight: Obese or overweight people are more likely to develop bowel cancer.

4. Exercise: Leading a sedentary lifestyle raises your risk of developing bowel cancer.

5. Alcohol: Consuiming alcohol may raise your risk of developing bowel cancer.

6. Smoking: Smoking may increase your risk of developing bowel cancer.

7. Family history: Having a close relative (mother, father, brother, or sister) who developed bowel cancer before the age of 50 increases your lifetime risk of the disease.

As in most cases of cancer, there are four stages of bowel cancer. It is curable, especially if diagnosed early.



 

 

References:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/symptoms-causes/

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-61979220?fs=e&s=cl

Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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