Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers to be diagnosed in the UK. You should consider speaking to a doctor if you notice that you’re feeling more tired or lethargic than normal.
Bowel cancer is a general term for any cancer that develops in the large bowel, and it may sometimes be known as colon or rectal cancer.
The early warning signs of bowel cancer can be very subtle, and many people may not be aware that they’re at risk.
That’s why it’s crucial that you always check your stools after using the toilet.
But, there are also some warning signs of the disease that often go unnoticed, including persistent tiredness.
Feeling overly tired may be caused by bowel cancer, warned charity Bowel Cancer UK.
The disease has been linked with an iron deficiency, which subsequently leads to anaemia.
Anaemia symptoms include feeling very tired, and it may even make the skin appear paler than normal.
You should consider speaking to a doctor if your tiredness seems worse than normal, and lasts for at least three weeks.
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“Bowel cancer is very treatable but the earlier it’s diagnosed, the easier it is to treat,” said the charity.
“People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread.
“Bowel cancer may lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can cause anaemia [lack of red blood cells].
“If you have anaemia, you are likely to feel very tired and your skin may look pale.”
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But, just because you’re feeling unusually tired, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have bowel cancer.
It could be caused by a number of medical conditions, not getting enough sleep, or even over-exercising.
Your tiredness may be caused by an underachieve thyroid, diabetes, heart failure, or even a vitamin D deficiency.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink could help to protect against extreme tiredness.
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You could lower your risk of bowel cancer by making some small diet or lifestyle changes.
Eating large amounts of red and processed meats have been linked with a higher likelihood of bowel cancer.
Smoking, drinking too much alcohol and obesity could also lead to the disease, the NHS warned.
More than 90 percent of all bowel cancer causes occur in people over the age of 50.
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