About Bowel Cancer

What you need to know

Bowel cancer is the UK’s fourth most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. More than 41,000 people are diagnosed and nearly 16,000 die from bowel cancer each year.


The vast majority of bowel cancer cases occur in people aged over 60.


Also known as colorectal cancer, bowel cancer refers to tumours in the part of your gut called the large intestine or large bowel. Tumours often start as small growths called polyps in the lining of the bowel.  For many people these polyps exist harmlessly in the bowel, but over time they can sometimes turn to cancer.


  • Bleeding in the rectum or blood in faeces

  • A change in normal bowel habit, such as looser bowel movements or constipation

  • A lump in the stomach

  • A feeling of needing to strain the back passage even after opening the bowels

  • Losing weight

  • Pain in the abdomen or back passage

  • Tiredness or breathlessness caused by anaemia

If you present with these symptoms then speak to your GP immediately.


National Bowel Screening Hub Helpline: 0800 707 6060 to order a home-test kit, book an appointment, and general inquiries about bowel screening. Open 9am to 5pm.

St. Mark's Bowel Screening Health Promotion: 020 8869 3376 to speak to the Health Promotion team to arrange a talk, training session or raise awareness

St Mark's Hospital website



St Mark’s Hospital
Watford Road
Harrow HA1 3UJ

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