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The symptom of bowel cancer may appear when climbing stairs – “Consult a therapist”

Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is responsible for more than 16,500 deaths in the UK each year, making it the second most deadly form of the disease. It is also the fourth most commonly diagnosed disease. Thus, finding any symptoms as soon as possible can save a life.

Some of the most well-known symptoms of bowel cancer are associated with going to the toilet.

Sarah Mills, a colorectal surgeon at Lister’s Hospital in London, has more to say.

She said: “There are several symptoms that are commonly found in bowel cancer.

“These include blood in the stool, ongoing changes in bowel structure and habits, including diarrhea and constipation, weight loss and abdominal pain.

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“Some less common symptoms of bowel cancer include darker than normal stools, urgency to have a bowel movement, a feeling of not being able to completely empty the bowel, unusual tiredness due to anemia, and loss of appetite.”

This anemia can lead to a side effect that you will notice when doing light exercise, including climbing stairs.

“Intestinal cancer can also cause a slow loss of blood not detectable in the stool, which causes anemia that makes patients feel unusually tired or short of breath on minimal exercise, such as climbing stairs,” she said.

“It can affect your daily life and make work, exercise and communication more difficult.”

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Other symptoms

Some people may notice a lump, swelling, or pain in the abdomen, among other signs.

Miss Mills said: “In slender people, you can sometimes feel swelling when you press on the abdomen.

“About one in four cases of bowel cancer may have a partial or complete bowel obstruction.

“This means that stool cannot pass through the area of ​​the intestine narrowed by the cancer, leading to bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, vomiting, and an inability to defecate or gas.”

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Treatment

Ms Mills urged people to see a doctor if they notice any signs.

“Anyone experiencing these symptoms should make an appointment with their GP,” she said.

“Although in most cases these symptoms are characteristic of a number of benign diseases, it is still important to check yourself.

“We are seeing an increase in cases of bowel cancer in people under the age of 50, so the above symptoms, if they do not go away within a few weeks, should not be dismissed as benign causes, regardless of age.”

Relief of symptoms

While it’s important that you see your doctor about cancer treatment, they can also offer solutions to treat your symptoms.

Miss Mills added: “Symptoms of anemia associated with bowel cancer caused by blood loss can be treated with daily iron tablets or intravenous iron infusions.

“Common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, and dizziness, so relieving these symptoms can improve your overall daily life.

“Symptoms of partial bowel obstruction can be temporarily relieved with a low-fiber diet because it reduces stool volume, making it easier to pass.”

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