Bowel cancer: Dr Philippa shares symptoms you need to spot – ‘Look at the toilet paper’

Bowel cancer: Dr Philippa Kaye lists the symptoms

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“If you’re diagnosed with stage 1 bowel cancer, you have a 90-95 percent chance – a really, really good change – of having a great prognosis,” said Dr Philippa, speaking on ITV’s This Morning. “We can treat this and cure this, we’ve got to catch it early.” In order to identify the condition, you need to be aware of the symptoms.

The doctor said: “You’ve got to know the signs and those are changes in bowel habit.

“Everyone has a bowel habit, you might go three times a day, twice a week, those are normal.

“But if that changes, persistently for more than three weeks, [it could signal a health problem].”

Apart from going more often, change in bowel habit also includes looking out for looser and runnier poos, the NHS notes.

Other warning signs Dr Philippa named include:

  • Persistent tummy pain
  • Blood in the poo
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue.

She said: “We have to become a society that looks at the toilet paper and looks at the bowl before we flush.”

The NHS notes that symptoms can be “subtle” and not “necessarily” make you feel ill.


However, if signs of bowel cancer persist for three weeks or more, you need to visit your GP.

Dr Philippa explained that this three-week window is set in case your symptoms are caused by a “tummy bug”.

She added: “Blood in the poo is not normal, you should always get that checked out.

“Do not assume it is a pile or haemorrhoid or something like that, it should always be checked out.”

“It doesn’t mean that you’ve got cancer, it means that you’ve got a symptom that needs to be investigated.”

Who’s at risk of bowel cancer?

The health service shares that most people are diagnosed after the age of 60. However, Dr Philippa warned it can strike at any time.

She said: “It’s commoner as you get older but it is really important to say you’re never too young.

“Deborah was 35 when getting her diagnosis, I was 39.

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