Bowel cancer symptoms can be unpleasant and embarrassing but should never be ignored.
The earlier treatment is sought, the easier it will be to remove the cancer before it has spread to another area of the body.
Bowel Cancer UK, a charity fighting the condition, revealed in an online post the symptoms of bowel cancer.
Among the possibly more embarrassing symptoms such as a “persistent” and “unexplained” change in bowel habit, they said extreme tiredness can also be a sign.
Feeling like this for “no obvious reason” could signal an iron deficiency, a symptom of the cancer.
Writing online, the charity said, “bowel cancer 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,” they continued.
Cancer Research UK added “tiredness and breathlessness in bowel cancer are caused by lower than normal levels of red blood cells”.
These cells carry life-giving oxygen to cells around the body, keeping them healthy and active.
When there aren’t enough red blood cells too little oxygen gets around, which may lead to tiredness, a symptom of the cancer.
Other signs include bleeding from the bottom, changes in bowel habit, weight loss and a pain or lump on your stomach according to the charity.
“Tell your GP if you have noticed any changes in your bowel habit that have lasted three weeks or more, especially if you also have bleeding from your back passage,” advised Bowel Cancer UK.
“You may have looser poo and you may need to poo more often than normal.
“Or you may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might not feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels.”
“You could also have a pain or a lump in your stomach area or back passage.”
Although these are symptoms of the cancer, they may also indicate other conditions.
“Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer,” said Bowel Cancer UK.
“Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. But if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, go to see your GP.”
Iron deficiency leading to extreme tiredness may also be caused by blood loss, or a lack of iron in your diet.
Eating more dark green vegetables such as kale could raise your dietary iron content.