Bowel cancer is a common cancer and, if detected early, has a good recovery rate. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer. In 2015, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with bowel cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 12 (1 in 10 males and 1 in 15 females).

Symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • Bleeding from the back passage (rectum) or blood in your poo
  • A change in normal bowel habits
  • A feeling of needing to strain in your back passage (as if you need to pass a bowel motion), even after opening your bowels
  • Losing weight
  • Pain in your abdomen or back passage

A free simple screening test can detect early signs of a cancer. Everyone 50 and over should talk with their doctor about the screening tests, so that any signs of bowel cancer can be detected early. Alternatively you can arrange for a free test kit to be sent to you.