Bowel (Colorectal) Cancer

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women in Australia and is more common in people over the age of 50. Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, can affect any part of the large bowel (colon) or rectum; it may also be referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer is located.

Bowel cancer develops from the inner lining of the bowel and is usually preceded by growths called polyps, which may become invasive cancer if undetected.

Symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • change in bowel habit with diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling of incomplete emptying
  • thin bowel movements
  • blood in the stools
  • abdominal pain, bloating or cramping
  • anal or rectal pain
  • a lump in the anus or rectum
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • unexplained anaemia.

For more information and support services go to;

Bowel Cancer Australia

Cancer Council of Australia

Fact sheets