Symptoms of bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is considered a silent disease. This is because often there are no obvious symptoms in the early stages, meaning it can go undetected. However, despite their subtlety there are some warning signs to look out for.

What are the signs of bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer has 3 main symptoms in which you should look out for.


Bowel obstruction

Bowel obstruction is when the cancer is creating a blockage in the bowel and can stop waste being passed through the bowel. It comes with its own set of symptoms, which are:

  • Intermittent and strong cramping pain in your tummy
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Feeling bloated
  • Being and feeling sick
  • Constipation

Bowel obstructions are medical emergencies. If you think you are experiencing a bowel obstruction you should go to your nearest A&E department.

Find out what your risk of cancer is

There are many risk factors to take into consideration when it comes your risk of bowel cancer. Score yourself on each and find out what your risk is of developing bowel cancer.

> Check your risk

Risk factors for bowel cancer

Whilst we don’t know what the exact causes of bowel cancer are, however, there are some factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing bowel cancer.

Understanding what these risk factors are and what you can do, can help to protect yourself against bowel cancer.

> Find out more about bowel cancer causes and risk factors 

Helping to prevent your risk of bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is considered one of the most preventable cancers.

This is because the development of bowel cancer is heavily influenced by how you live. What you eat and how active you are can make a big difference in your chances of developing bowel cancer.

> Check out our steps you can take to help prevent bowel cancer

Where is bowel cancer pain felt?

According to the NHS, it can cause abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating.