Symptom of advanced bowel cancer you may not notice – five other signs to spot

Bowel cancer: Alan Titchmarsh urges public to do screening test

As a cancerous tumour grows in size and spreads elsewhere in the body, symptoms of the disease might start appearing.

One of the warning signs of advanced cancer is weight loss – even when the amount of food you eat hasn’t changed.

Some people might experience unexplained pain in their body, which should be brought to the attention of your doctor.

Two bowel troubles that may show up are constipation and diarrhoea when a person has cancer.

The life-threatening disease could also lead to anaemia, which will make you feel more tired than normal, pale, and breathless.

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“Anaemia can occur for many reasons in cancer patients,” the NHS says. “It can be related to your diet or bleeding.”

The health body adds: “You may not notice the blood loss as it could be a small amount in your stool.”

Six possible signs of advanced cancer:

  1. Unexplained weight loss
  2. Unexplained pain in the body
  3. Constipation
  4. Diarrhoea
  5. Anaemia
  6. Blood in stools.

Cancer Research UK says: “Sometimes cancer is advanced when it is first diagnosed.”

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A person’s outlook, and how cancer will develop, will be different for each patient.

The charity assures: “In a few people with advanced bowel cancer, treatment can control the cancer for a long time.

“And for a small number of these people, a cure might be possible.”

When the tumour has spread to the liver, for example, additional symptoms might include:

  • Discomfort or pain on the right side of your abdomen
  • Feeling sick
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Itchy skin.

If the tumour spreads to the lungs, then you might experience:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away (often worse at night)
  • Breathlessness
  • Ongoing chest infections
  • Coughing up blood.

Should the tumour spread to the bones, the following symptoms could appear:

  • Irritability
  • Thirst
  • Confusion.

“Treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy can sometimes shrink cancer and reduce symptoms,” adds the research charity.

If you identify with any of the following symptoms, do book a doctor’s appointment.

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