Macmillan Cancer Support
Have questions about cancer? Visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call 0808 808 000 free (Monday to Friday 9am – 8pm).
Bowel cancer is a term used to describe cancer in the colon, rectum or the small bowel.
The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:
- Bleeding from the back passage (rectum) or blood in your stools
- A change in normal bowel habits to diarrhoea or looser stools, lasting longer than 4 to 6 weeks
- A lump that your doctor can feel in your back passage or abdomen (more commonly on the right side)
- A feeling of needing to strain in your back passage (as if you needed to pass a bowel motion)
- Losing weight
- Pain in your abdomen or back passage
- A lower than normal level of red blood cells (anaemia)
- Because bowel tumours can bleed, cancer of the bowel often causes a shortage of red blood cells. This is called anaemia and may cause tiredness and sometimes breathlessness.