Bowel cancer warning – does your poo look like this? The colour you shouldn’t ignore
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers to be diagnosed in the UK, according to the NHS. It’s 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. But, you should speak to a doctor straight away if you notice that your poo has a red-coloured tinge, it’s been revealed.
Stools that appear to be have a slightly red tinge may be a warning sign of bowel cancer, according to charity Bowel Cancer UK.
It could be sign of blood from the bowel or stomach, which may indicate a cancer, it said.
Bowel cancer is more likely to cause a dark red-coloured poo than a bright red stool, however, it revealed.
“Bowel cancer is very treatable but the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat,” said the charity.
“People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread.
“There are several possible causes of bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements [poo].
“Bright red blood may come from swollen blood vessels [haemorrhoids or piles] in your back passage. Dark red or black blood may come from your bowel or stomach.
“Tell your doctor about any bleeding so they can find out what is causing it.”
Look out for poo that looks a bit like tar, added Ramsay Health Care UK. That’s because blood from higher up in the bowel goes dark red or even black.
You should speak to a doctor straight away if you notice any signs of dark red or black poo, as it’s one of the signs of bowel cancer, it said.
But, bright red poo is likely caused by fresh blood – usually a sign of an anal tear of haemorrhoids.
Other bowel cancer symptoms include persistent tiredness, weight loss, or developing a painful lump in your stomach.
It’s also important to notice any change to your bowel habits. You may develop looser stools than normal, or you may need to poo more often than normal.
If your changing toilet habits lasts for at least four weeks, you should consider speaking to a doctor, said the NHS.
But, most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. They’re more likely to be caused by something less serious, including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or Crohn’s disease.
More than 40,000 new cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed in the UK every year.