The early symptoms of bowel cancer can be very similar to  common and less serious bowel problems, and although it might be nothing to worry about, it is vital you check with your GP in order to rule out any possibilities.

The most common cases are:

Haemorrhoids (Piles)
Haemorrhoids are swellings that grown inside and around the anus. If you are experiencing any bleeding, swelling as well as soreness, lumps or itchiness, it is likely you are suffering from haemorrhoids. Discomfort during or after opening bowels is also a common symptom.

Piles are not dangerous, and perfectly safe to leave if they are not causing you too much discomfort. Very often they will clear up on their own. However, it’s always best to get any abnormalities checked and diagnosed properly by your GP. There are various treatment options for piles that do not require surgery.

Passing looser and more frequent stools is commonly known as diarrhoea. It is extremely common and will affect most of us at some time or another. Diarrhoea can be caused by a number of different issues and, in most cases, will occur as a result of a bowel infection such as gastroenteritis.

This can be caused by:

  • A virus
  • A bacteria such as E.coli or salmonella
  • A parasite

Symptoms include loose watery stools, rectal pain, lower abdominal pain, incontinence and sometimes a fever, loss of appetite or weight loss.

Treating diarrhoea involves ensuring that you are kept hydrated at all times and avoiding fats, sweets coffee and dairy products.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome is the unpredictable disruption of the digestive system. This unpleasant condition affects 10-20% of the population. If you are experiencing consistent abdominal pain and bloating as well as regular bouts of diarrhoea or constipation, then it’s possible that you have IBS.

It occurs when the nerves and muscles of the lower bowel are not working in the way they are required to, resulting in the bowel becoming extremely sensitive to pain and easily upset. IBS is most likely to affect women between the ages of 20 – 40.

IBS is a chronic condition, and so is likely to persist for some time, and while there is no outright cure,

Crohn’s Disease
Crohns deseise also known as Crohn syndrome and regional enteritis, is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody if inflammation is severe), vomiting, or weight loss, but may also cause complications outside the gastrointestinal tract such as anemia, skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye, tiredness, and lack of concentration. Crohn’s disease is caused by interactions between environmental, immunological and bacterial factors in genetically susceptible individuals

Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. A disease of the colon which includes characteristics such as ulcers, or open sores. The main symptom of active disease is usually constant diarrhea mixed with blood, of gradual onset. IBD is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome

It is important for you to be aware of any unusual changes to your body and see your doctor right away.