Do you know the five symptoms of bowel cancer?

BMI St Edmunds Hospital endoscopy team- Left to right: Dr Simon Whalley, Consultant Gastroenterologi

BMI St Edmunds Hospital endoscopy team- Left to right: Dr Simon Whalley, Consultant Gastroenterologist; Jackie Turner, Endoscopy Nurse; Helen Howard, Endoscopy Lead; Mr Timothy Justin, Consultant Endoscopy Lead and Consultant Colorectal Surgeon; Lucie Rooke, Healthcare Assistant; Alice Trett, Operating Theatre Practitioner Picture: GEORGINA ROSS - Credit: Archant

April is bowel cancer awareness month, and a Suffolk colorectal surgeon is urging Suffolk people to be aware of the symptons, and check it out if they have any concerns.

Consultant colorectal Surgeon Mr Timothy Justin, endoscopy lead from BMI St Edmunds Hospital, says bowel cancer is treatable, if caught early.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and around 42,000 people are diagnosed with it each year in the UK.

Mr Timothy Justin is keen to point out that although nine in every ten people diagnosed are over the age of 50, it can affect anyone of any age.

So be aware of the symptoms, as it could save your life.

He said:“It’s a cancer that is treatable and curable if it’s diagnosed early,” he said. “However, the signs and symptoms of it are often overlooked or explained away by the patient themselves rather than them seeking a medical diagnosis. I know some people could feel embarrassed seeing their doctor about their bowels, but it’s so important that symptoms are checked out.”

The charity Bowel Cancer UK states that the five symptoms of bowel cancer are:

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1 Finding blood in the toilet or on the tissue after you’d had a poo

2 Going more frequently, less frequently, or at different times to normal

3 Losing weight with no obvious explanation

4 Feeling tired for no apparent reason

5 Finding a lump or feeling a pain in your tummy

Mr Justin said: “If things just don’t feel right, then please go to see your GP, who will be able to talk with you and order any necessary tests or make any necessary referrals.”

BMI Healthcare has put together a series of podcasts of people talking about what a diagnosis has meant to them and their families, along with a frank discussion about treatment, the emotional and practical impact of bowel cancer and life following recovery.