Bowel cancer: Two sensations indicative of a growing cancerous tumour – ‘don’t ignore’

Deborah James leaves hospital after bowel cancer surgery

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A growing tumour within the bowel can affect anyone, from a young 18-year-old to a pensioner. Regardless of who is harbouring the disease, bowel cancer signs are the same for everyone. Experts at Bowel Cancer UK have highlighted two sensations to be wary of: extreme tiredness for no obvious reason and a painful lump in the stomach. Both of these are potential warning signs of a growing cancerous lesion.

“Don’t ignore” these two signs of bowel cancer, the charity emphasised.

Other indications of bowel cancer might include: rectal bleeding, blood-stained stools, changes in bowel habits, and unexplained weight loss.

“Other health problems can cause similar symptoms,” Bowel Cancer UK pointed out.

However, any of these signs should be investigated by a medical professional.

As such, people are encouraged to book a doctor’s appointment if symptoms have been present for three weeks or more.

The NHS stated: “Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK.”

Expanding on stomach pain, if there is a cancerous tumour, the NHS added that the pain would radiate from the “lower” abdomen.

Moreover, there may be a feeling of discomfort or bloating that is “always caused by eating”.

In terms of changes to bowel habits, the NHS elaborated it could mean “having to poo more”.

Stools may also become “more runny” than usual; both of which are considered “main symptoms of bowel cancer”.

Diagnostic tools implemented by your doctor could involve blood tests, examining the stomach, and a hospital referral.

People who have pre-existing health conditions, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, are at increased risk of bowel cancer.

How to minimise the risk of bowel cancer

There are certain ways to minimise your risk of bowel cancer.

For instance, reducing your red meat consumption (or avoiding it entirely) could help.

Red meat:

  • Beef
  • Lamb and mutton
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Venison
  • Goat.

“Eating a lot of red and processed meat increases your risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer,” the NHS confirmed.

Processed meats:

  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Deli meats such as salami
  • Pâtés
  • Canned meat such as corned beef
  • Sliced luncheon meats, including those made from chicken and turkey.

Another way to reduce your bowel cancer risk is to cut down on alcoholic beverages.

“Drinking alcohol has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer, particularly if you regularly drink large amounts,” the NHS stated.

UK Government guidelines recommends people should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol weekly.

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