The little-known symptom of bowel cancer you might spot walking around the house | The Sun

BOWEL cancer is a devastating disease that claims the lives of thousands every year — so it’s essential you know the symptoms.

Survival chances are far higher if you spot signs of the disease early.

The Sun’s No Time 2 Lose campaign, spearheaded by Dame Deborah James, successfully brought screening tests to over-50s to spot for blood in poo.

But there is a less well-known symptom you might spot walking around the house.

Breathlessness and tiredness are signs you could be ill with the disease, according to Cancer Research UK.

They can both be caused by lower than normal levels of red blood cells, known as anaemia medically.

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Dr Richard Roope, of Cancer Research UK, said: “A symptom where we would encourage you to see your GP is if you notice that you’re excessively tired.

“So any tiredness, for instance where you might find you’re falling behind your friends when you’re out for a walk.

“If this can’t be explained for any good reason then it may be a sign of early bowel cancer.”

Medics spot around 43,000 new cases in the UK every year, with around 268,000 Brits living with the disease today.

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It is the second biggest cancer killer in the country, after lung cancer, with around 16,800 patients dying every year.

BBC presenter George Alagiah died yesterday at the age of 67 – nine years after he was diagnosed with the disease.

Other symptoms of the disease include bleeding from the back passage or changes in you normal bowel habits, such as looser poo, pooing more often or constipation.

Doctors may be able to feel a lump in your rectum or tummy, usually to the right hand side.

Feeling like you need to strain to poo even after opening your bowels could also be a sign.

Rapid weight loss and pain in your tummy or back passage could also point to the disease.

GP Dr Zoe Williams said: “The best way to protect yourself is to be aware and watch out for the signs.

“They include bleeding from your bottom, blood in your poo, a persistent change in toilet habits, a pain or lump in your tummy, extreme tiredness and unexplained weight loss.

“If you experience any of these red flags, speak to your GP.”