To gather their findings, a nationwide study of 100000 adults, aged 20 years and older, were randomly selected in the general population and invited to participate in an internet-based survey.
Mentions of specific and non-specific alarm symptoms of bowel cancer within the preceding four weeks were recorded.
The researchers found abdominal pain to be the most common specific alarm symptom and tiredness was the most common non-specific symptom.
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According to the NHS, this could mean pooing more often, with looser and runnier poos.
“Constipation, where you pass harder stools less often, is rarely caused by serious bowel conditions,” explains the heath body.
It adds: “See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for three weeks or more.”
Bowel cancer treatment
Treatment for bowel cancer will depend on which part of your bowel is affected and how far the cancer has spread.
“The main treatments are chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy,” explains Cancer Research UK.
Am I at risk?
Your risk of developing bowel cancer depends on many things including age, genetics and lifestyle factors.
Having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you will definitely get bowel cancer.
“It is estimated that around 13 out of 100 bowel cancer cases (around 13 percent) in the UK are linked to eating these meats,” reports Cancer Research UK.
Processed meat is any meat that has been treated to preserve it and/or add flavour – for example, bacon, salami, sausages, canned meat, or chicken nuggets.
Other risk factors include:
- Family history