Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer to be diagnosed around the world. But it’s often not spotted until much later on, because the symptoms are difficult to spot. Some patients have reported small changes to the size and appearance of their stools, which could be an early sign of the cancer.
Bowel cancer is a very serious condition that’s generally diagnosed in people over 60 years old.
It may sometimes be called colon or rectal condition, dependent on where in the body the cancer has developed.
One of the three key warning signs of bowel cancer is a persistent change to your toilet habit.
You may notice a shift in the consistency of your stools too, warned Cancer Council Victoria.
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“In its early stages, bowel cancer may have no symptoms,” the charity wrote on its website.
“This is why screening is important to increase the chance of an early diagnosis.
“However, many people with bowel cancer do experience symptoms. These can include: blood in the stools or on the toilet paper, a change in bowel habit, such as diarrhoea, constipation or smaller, more frequent bowel movements, [or] a change in appearance or consistency of bowel movements (e.g. narrower stools or mucus in stools).
“Other conditions, such as haemorrhoids, diverticulitis, or an anal fissure, can also cause these changes.”
The mucus in your stools may appear like a thick jelly, and it’s quite common.
Finding mucus in your poo could be caused by a variety of different medical conditions, including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and an intestinal infection.
Having large amounts of mucus isn’t normal, however, and could be a sign of something serious.
Your may also find blood or pus in your stools, stomach bloating, or unexplained cramping.