Tag Archives: bowel

Bowel cancer: Tenesmus affects digestion and is a major warning sign – what is it?

Medical News Today said: “Rectal tenesmus, or tenesmus, is a feeling of being unable to empty the large bowel of stool, even if there is nothing left to expel.

“Several medical conditions can cause tenesmus.

“These include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colorectal cancer, and disorders that affect how muscles move food through the gut.

“It can be painful, especially if there is cramping or other digestive symptoms. The symptoms can come and go, or they may persist long term.

“Vesical tenesmus is a separate condition that relates to the urinary bladder.

“A person will feel as if they are unable to empty the bladder, even when there is no urine present.”

READ MORE: Bowel cancer symptoms: The four ‘most common’ bowel changes to watch out for

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Bowel cancer symptoms: How many times do you poo a day? How often can be worrying

Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel – a part of the digestive system that includes the colon and rectum. When cancerous cells start multiplying in this region, digestive processes can be disrupted. The result is often a change to one’s bowel habits.
Constipation and infrequent bowel movement have long been suggested to be risk factors for bowel cancer.

A study published in the journal Elsevier suggests a greater frequency of bowel movements also increases your risk of the deadly disease.

To investigate the association, researchers drew on data from the EPIC-Norfolk study.

This is an ongoing prospective study of 25,663 men and women aged between 45 and 79 years who are residing in Norfolk, United Kingdom, and are recruited from general practice registers.

READ MORE: Bowel cancer symptoms: The four ‘most common’ bowel changes to watch out for

Three categories were devised to assess bowel movement frequency: less than four to five stools per week, seven stools per week and more than two to three stools per day.

After conducting their analysis, the researchers found having more than two to three stools per day was associated with a significantly increased risk of bowel cancer when compared with having one stool per day.

Less frequent bowel movement showed a decreased risk, they found.

What’s more, having loose stools in comparison with soft stools was associated with an approximately three-fold increased risk.

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How to respond

The NHS explains: “See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for three weeks or more.”

According to the health body, when you first see a GP, they’ll ask about your symptoms and whether you have a family history of bowel cancer.

“They’ll usually carry out a simple examination of your bottom, known as a digital rectal examination (DRE), and examine your tummy (abdomen).”

This is a useful way of checking whether there are any lumps in your tummy or bottom (rectum).

Am I at risk?

The exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown. However, research has shown several factors may make you more likely to develop it.

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.

In addition to raising heart disease risk, kany studies have shown that eating lots of red and processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer.

It is estimated that around 13 out of 100 bowel cancer cases 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.

The government recommends that people eating more than 90g of red and processed meat a day should reduce it to 70g or less.

Other risk factors include:

  • Being overweight and obese
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Age
  • Family history.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Cancer: Three colours of faeces that could be a sign of a growing tumour in the bowel

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed

Any persistent, unexplained changes in your bowel habits should be reported to your GP; this includes its consistency and frequency for three weeks or more. When it comes to the colouring of faeces, there are certain hues to be wary of. “The presence of either bright red blood, very dark, or black stool can be one of the later onset symptoms of colon cancer [a type of bowel cancer],” said the RCCA. The oncology network reiterated that such a warning sign “should never be ignored”.

“The resultant exhaustion may be caused by internal bleeding and anaemia,” the RCCA added.

One other possible sign of colon cancer is “pain in the rectum, or the urge to have a bowel movement, without producing one”.

Many of these symptoms can be indicative of minor ailments and non-cancerous disorders.

However, it’s pertinent to report these to your GP so that the root cause can be investigated – which may or may not be cancer.

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Colon cancer

Cancer Research UK explained that the colon is the first part of the large bowel.

The earlier colon cancer is identified and treated, the better the chances of recovery.

To illustrate, 90 percent of people with stage 1 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for five years or more after diagnosis.

However, only 10 percent of people with stage 4 bowel cancer will face the same odds.

If bowel cancer has spread to other body parts, there are unique signs of cancer to be aware of.

This can include the following if the cancer has spread to the liver:

  • Discomfort or pain on the right side of your abdomen
  • Feeling sick
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Swollen abdomen (called ascites)
  • Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
  • Itchy skin

If the cancer has spread to the lungs, then the following symptoms might occur:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away (often worse at night)
  • Breathlessness
  • Ongoing chest infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • A build-up of fluid between the chest wall and the lung (a pleural effusion)

“Treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy can sometimes shrink the cancer and reduce symptoms,” said Cancer Research UK.

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Bowel cancer symptoms: How often do you poo? Your answer may signal you're at risk

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK. It is a general term for cancerous cells that multiply exponentially within the large bowel – a part of the digestive system. Due to the location of the cancer, many of the symptoms involve an interference in the way the body removes waste.

All data were taken from the Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) Study, a large community-based prospective study.

Most subjects were recruited from the general population or when undergoing routine health checks in the municipalities.

All participants completed a self-administered questionnaire on enrolment.

This covered demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors such as diet, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, bowel movement frequency, susceptibility to diarrhoea and laxative use over the past year.

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The alternative answers provided on the questionnaire for the frequency of BM were: ‘daily’, ‘every two to three days’, ‘every four to five days’ and ‘every six days or less’.

After conducting their analysis, the researchers found a “significant” association between bowel movement frequency and bowel cancer risk.

Infrequent bowel movements were associated with a significantly increased risk of bowel cancer and a marginally increased risk of colon cancer in women, they found.

During the study, a significantly increased risk of bowel cancer was found only in subjects who reported bowel movements every six days or less relative to those reporting daily bowel movements.

“Therefore, we suggest that only highly infrequent bowel movements elevate the risk of colorectal cancer,” the researchers concluded.

Other symptoms of bowel cancer

According to the NHS, more than 90 percent of people with bowel cancer have one of the following combinations of symptoms:

  • A persistent change in bowel habit – pooing more often, with looser, runnier poos and sometimes tummy (abdominal) pain
  • Blood in the poo without other symptoms of piles (haemorrhoids) – this makes it unlikely the cause is haemorrhoids
  • Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating – sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss.

As the health body explains, most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer.

Nonetheless, see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for three weeks or more, it advises.

Am I at risk?

The exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown. However, research has shown several factors may make you more likely to develop it.

Having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you will definitely get bowel cancer.

Many studies have shown that eating lots of red and processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer.

Other risk factors include:

  • Diet
  • Being overweight and obese
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Previous cancer
  • Medical conditions
  • Benign polyps in the bowel
  • Radiation
  • Infections.

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Bowel cancer: A popular medication can change person’s gut microbiome and increase risk

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed

In a study published in BMJ, antibiotic use being linked to heightened bowel cancer risk was further analysed.

The study found that antibiotics have a strong and long-lasting impact on the gut microbiome, altering the balance of helpful and harmful bacteria.

The findings suggest a pattern of risk that may be linked to differences in gut microbiome (bacteria) activity along the length of the bowel and reiterate the importance of judicious prescribing, say the researchers.

The researchers collected prescribing information for 28,930 patients diagnosed with bowel and rectal cancers during an average monitoring period of 8 years, and for 137,077 patients, matched for age and sex, who didn’t develop these cancers. 

Antibiotics had been prescribed to 70 percent (20,278) of patients with bowel and rectal cancers and to 68.5 percent (93,862) of those without. Nearly six out of 10 study participants had been prescribed more than one class of antibiotic.  

“The association between bowel cancer and antibiotic use was evident among patients who had taken these drugs more than 10 years before their cancer was diagnosed,” noted the study. 

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Cancer: Six warning signs a tumour in the bowel has spread to the bones

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed

Raising awareness of ITV’s No Butts campaign, Charlene said: “The reality is, you know your body.”

“Make sure you check before you flush,” Charlene urged, highlighting the five early warning signs of bowel cancer.

B – Blood in your poo or from your bottom

O – Obvious change in your bowel habit

W – Weight loss you can’t explain

E – Extreme tiredness for no apparent reason

L – Lump and/or pain in your tummy

It’s only you that knows if your bowel habits have changed, and you need to “take responsibility” for your own health.

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Cancer symptoms: Signs the deadly disease is multiplying in the large bowel – full list

If cancer is diagnosed, treatment will depend on whether it’s colon or rectal cancer, and the stage of the cancer.

The main treatment options for colon cancer are surgery and chemotherapy.

Surgery

In the early stages of colon cancer, the surgeon can remove the cancer from the bowel along a border of healthy tissue; this is known as a local resection.

Alternatively, the surgeon might remove all or part of the colon that contains the tumours; this is known as a colectomy.

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Bowel cancer symptoms: 'Increased looseness' is a highly predictive indicator – study

Bowel cancer, as the name suggests, begins in the large bowel – a part of the digestive system that includes the colon and rectum. Due to the cancer’s location, it often interferes with bowel habits, although the symptoms can be hard to spot. Research published in the journal Family Practice sought to identify the most common indicators of bowel cancer.
For example:

  • Blood in the poo when associated with pain or soreness is more often caused by piles (haemorrhoids)
  • A change in bowel habit or abdominal pain is usually caused by something you’ve eaten
  • A change in bowel habit to going less often, with harder poo, is not usually caused by any serious condition – it may be worth trying laxatives before seeing a GP.

“These symptoms should be taken more seriously as you get older and when they persist despite simple treatments,” adds the NHS.

Although, it advises people should see a GP If they have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for three weeks or more.

How to reduce your risk

The exact cause of bowel cancer is not known, but there are a number of things that can increase your risk.

Your risk of developing bowel (colon and rectal) 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, however.

Many studies have shown that eating lots of red and processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, it is estimated that around 13 out of 100 bowel cancer cases (around 13 percent) in the UK are linked to eating these meats.

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:

  • Being overweight and obese
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Previous cancer
  • Medical conditions
  • Benign polyps in the bowel
  • Radiation
  • Infections.

How is it treated?

Your treatment depends on the stage and whether you have colon or rectal cancer, notes Cancer Research UK.

“The main treatments are chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy,” adds the charity.

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Bowel cancer: Looser stools which are closer together and tinged with blood could be signs

As almost nine out of 10 people with bowel cancer are over the age of 60, these symptoms are more important as people get older, said NHS Inform.

The national health body added: “They are also more significant when they persist despite simple treatments.

“Most people who are eventually diagnosed with bowel cancer have one of the following combinations of symptoms:

A persistent change in bowel habit that causes them to go to the toilet more often and pass looser stools, usually together with blood on or in their stools.

A persistent change in bowel habit without blood in their stools, but with abdominal pain

Blood in the stools without other haemorrhoid symptoms, such as soreness, discomfort, pain, itching or a lump hanging down outside the back passage

Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always provoked by eating, sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss.”

Bowel cancer symptoms: Narrow poo is a visual warning sign – what to look for

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.

The government recommends that people eating more than 90 grams of red and processed meat a day should reduce it to 70 grams or less.

A linked risk factor is obesity, which is estimated to account for 11 out of 100 bowel cancers in the UK, reports Cancer Research UK.

Obesity means being very overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.