Skip to main content
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 a GP if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for 3 weeks or more.

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