Bowel cancer

Your individual risk of developing bowel cancer depends on multiple factors including your age, genetics and lifestyle. As is the case with most cancer types, bowel cancer incidence increases with age, however it is possible to develop bowel cancer at any age. Bowel cancer can also run in families, this is known as an inherited or hereditary risk.

Appointments & Enquiries

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How common is bowel cancer?

As the fourth most common cancer in the UK, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer. If diagnosed early, it is a very treatable form of cancer - the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and the higher the chance of successful treatment.

Bowel cancer is more common in people over 50 years of age, but it can affect anyone and some types are more common in younger adults. If you notice any changes to your health, or are experiencing symptoms of bowel cancer, don’t delay in seeing your doctor.

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Common symptoms of bowel cancer include:

If you have any new, persistent, or unusual symptoms, or you feel something is wrong, even if it is not covered on this list, do not delay in speaking to your GP.

  • An unexplained and persistent change to your bowel habits
  • Blood in your stool, or bleeding from your bottom
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue – extreme, unexplained tiredness
  • Pain in your stomach or a noticeable lump in your stomach

What are the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer?

Mr Alastair Windsor, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, Director for Cancer Surgery and Chairman of the GI Tumour Board at HCA Healthcare UK, tells you about the signs and symptoms to be aware of.

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Your bowel cancer experience

Testing and diagnosing bowel cancer

There are a range of diagnostic tests and scans available to investigate and diagnose bowel-related conditions.

Genetic risk

Some bowel cancers are linked to genetic conditions, which run in families. Your risk of developing bowel cancer may be higher if you have a family history.

Latest therapies and clinical trials

Advancements in genomic testing, immunotherapy, targeted therapies and access to clinical trials are transforming bowel cancer treatment.

Bowel cancer surgery

Surgery is a common treatment for bowel cancer, it can be used alone or in combination with other therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Living with and beyond cancer

A range of support to suit you, when its needed. 


How can you help prevent bowel cancer?

Dr Jonathan Hoare, Consultant Gastroenterologist at London Digestive Health explains the steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer.
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Danielle’s story

"No matter how old you are, or how fit, if something doesn’t feel right, get checked."

When Danielle, aged 28, started to experience bowel symptoms, she saw her doctor. After being diagnosed with bowel cancer, she underwent surgery.

But when things still didn't feel right, Danielle sought the expertise of Professor Sina Dorudi, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at London Digestive Centre.

Our locations

At HCA Healthcare UK, across our network of hospitals and clinics, we have extensive expertise in diagnosing and treating cancer. Our teams of cancer specialists, including consultants, cancer nurses and other cancer healthcare experts, come together to ensure that each individual patient receives a personalised treatment plan.

Our cancer care network is based in London and Manchester, where patients can expect the very best diagnostic tests, treatment, aftercare and support.