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Rectal cancer

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Introduction
Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Bowel cancer is sometimes called colon cancer or rectal cancer.
Signs and symptoms of bowel cancer
The initial symptoms of bowel cancer include blood in your stools (faeces), bleeding from your rectum or a change to your normal bowel habits.
Causes of bowel cancer
Cancer occurs when the cells in a certain area of your body divide and multiply too rapidly. This produces a lump of tissue known as a tumour.
Diagnosing bowel cancer
When you first see your GP they will ask about your symptoms and whether you have a family history of bowel cancer.
Treating bowel cancer
If the cancer is at a very early stage, it may be possible to remove just a small piece of the lining of the colon wall. This is known as local excision.
Preventing bowel cancer
There are several ways that you can help to reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer.
How screening for bowel cancer works
Bowel cancer can be present for a long time before any symptoms appear. If bowel cancer is detected before symptoms appear, it is easier to treat.
Living with bowel cancer
Being diagnosed with bowel cancer is a tough challenge for most people. There are several ways to find support to help you cope.
'I never thought I'd have any problems'
Anne Messenger, 65, from London, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2005. After keyhole surgery she’s now in the clear and focusing her energies on helping
'If it's caught early, you stand a good chance of recovery'
Lester tells his story of being diagnosed with bowel cancer
'It was soft and smooth - I could feel it'
Linda's account of being diagnosed with bowel cancer
Coping with cancer
Here, people who have been through cancer treatment talk about what kept them going and the practicalities of
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Bowel Cancer treatment and what the next steps might be.