Colorectal Cancer

site of cancer

Bowel Cancer is the UK's 4th commonest cancer

Unfortunately colorectal (bowel) cancer is common. The key is to identify it at an early stage when it has not spread to local lymph nodes nor to the liver or lungs, when surgical excision can be very effective.

The breakdown of cancer location is detailed in the figure, courtesy of Cancer Research UK.

What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

The symptoms of bowel cancer depend on where in the bowel the cancer is situated. Left sided cancers may present with a change in bowel habit in terms of persistent loose stool/increased frequency of stool and /or bleeding from the back passage. Right sided cancers are more subtle and tend to cause anaemia (low blood count) or weight loss.


Needless to say, these symptoms may also be caused by benign conditions and that is what makes the diagnosis of bowel cancer difficult.