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Symptoms

The symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and do not necessarily make you feel ill. However, it's worth trying simple treatments for a short time to see if they get better.

More than 90% of people with bowel cancer have 1 of the following combinations of symptoms:

Constipation, where you pass harder stools less often, is rarely caused by serious bowel conditions.

Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer.

When to get medical advice

See your GP if you have 1 or more of the symptoms of bowel cancer, and they persist for more than 4 weeks.

Read more about diagnosing bowel cancer.

Bowel obstruction

In some cases, bowel cancer can stop digestive waste passing through the bowel. This is known as a bowel obstruction.

Symptoms of a bowel obstruction can include:

A bowel obstruction is a medical emergency. If you suspect your bowel is obstructed go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your nearest hospital.

Further information