The symptoms of bowel cancer can be quite subtle. In fact, it’s common for those with the condition to experience little to no symptoms in the early stages. That said, there are a combination of symptoms that those with bowel cancer sometimes experience[1], these include:

  • Persistent change in your bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

See also: What Affects Bowel Function?

Bowel cancer symptoms

The signs and symptoms noted above can commonly be a result of another condition or simply a change in lifestyle. For example, a change in your bowel habits may simply be a result of something you’ve eaten and blood in your stool may be caused by piles or a small tear.

With this in mind, it is still important to keep an eye on these signs and symptoms - particularly as you get older. If you’re concerned about bowel cancer, it’s important to get in touch with your local doctor to discuss your concerns further.

See also: What are the risk factors associated with bowel cancer?

LetsGetChecked’s at-home Bowel Cancer Screening Test can help identify the presence of cancerous or precancerous growths in the bowel by detecting blood that is invisible to the naked eye.

You should consider getting screened if:

  • You are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms
  • You have a history of adenomas (benign tumors)
  • You have inflammatory bowel disease* (which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • You have an inherited syndrome (e.g. Lynch syndrome/HNPCC or FAP)
  • You have type 2 diabetes
  • You have undergone radiation therapy

See also: How Can You Screen For Bowel Cancer From Home?


  1. Mayo Clinic. Colon cancer. Online:, 2019