Bowel cancer warning: The one sign of the condition that you should never ignore

Bowel cancer symptoms can be subtle, and may not always make you feel unwell, according to the NHS.

But, you should see a GP if you have persistent abdominal pain, that lasts for longer than four weeks.

The discomfort or bloating may usually be brought on after eating.

Other signs of the condition include a change in bowel habit, and find blood in stools.

“More than 90 per cent of people with bowel cancer have one of the following combinations of symptoms,” said the NHS.

“A persistent change in bowel habit, blood in the stools without other piles symptoms, and abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating.

“Although bowel cancer symptoms are very common, you should see your GP if they persist for more than four weeks.

“Most people with these symptoms don't have bowel cancer.”

On some occasions, bowel cancer can stop digestive waste from leaving the body. This is known as a bowel obstruction.

Severe, but intermittent, abdominal pain could be a sign of bowel obstruction.

Unintentional weight loss, constant tummy swelling and vomiting are also symptoms of bowel obstruction.

If you think you may have a bowel obstruction, you should either see a GP urgently, or go to the hospital, the NHS advised.

Bowel cancer could be caused by a diet high in red or processed meats, too much alcohol or cigarettes, or a family history of the disease.

Almost 90 per cent of cases are in people aged 60 or over.

More than 40,000 new cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed every year, according to Cancer Research UK. More than half of those new cases could have been prevented, the charity said.

Nearly 16,000 people die from bowel cancer in the UK every year.