Health

What texture are your stools? How to reveal your risk of bowel cancer by checking your poo

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers to be diagnosed in the UK. You should consider speaking to a doctor if you find that your stools are persistently runnier than usual, it's been revealed.

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.

One of the key warning signs of bowel cancer is having looser stools than normal.

You may find that your poo is more runny than you're used to, according to the NHS.

Some patients also find that they start using the toilet more often.

There isn't a baseline for how loose your stools should be, however.

What's most important is comparing the texture of your stools with whatever is normal for you.

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"The symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and do not necessarily make you feel ill," it said.

"However, it's worth trying simple treatments for a short time to see if they get better.

"A persistent change in bowel habit [could be a sign – pooing more often, with looser, runnier poos and sometimes tummy (abdominal) pain.

"Make sure you see your GP if your symptoms persist or keep coming back after stopping treatment, regardless of their severity or your age."


But just because you have looser stools than normal, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have bowel cancer.

Diarrhoea is very common, and usually gets better by itself within a few days.

If you have diarrhoea, you should stay at home and drink plenty of fluids.

It's crucial that you wash your hands regularly, and speak to a pharmacist for advice on over-the-counter treatments.

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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