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.
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.
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.