Bowel cancer facts

Bowel cancer is the 4th most common cancer but the second most common cancer killer

In the UK, someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes

Early diagnosis is essential… if diagnosed early, bowel cancer can be cured in 95% of cases

Late stage diagnosis of bowel cancer carries very low survival rates (only 7% survive to 5 years)

95% of bowel cancer occurs in the over 50s age group but it can occur at any age

Signs of bowel cancer to watch out for

Please note that most people with these symptoms DO NOT have bowel cancer, but your GP will certainly want to examine you and may refer you or do further tests to rule it out.

If you are worried about bowel cancer please contact your GP.

For more information on bowel cancer including lots of great information booklets please visit the Bowel Cancer UK website.

Bowel cancer mythbusting

“Bowel cancer isn’t a serious cancer”

Not true! Bowel cancer is the 4th most common cancer but is the second highest cancer killer


“Bowel cancer is easy to treat”

Yes and no. If diagnosed early, bowel cancer has a 95% cure rate. If diagnosed at late stage then only 7% survive to 5 years.


“Bowel cancer only affects elderly men”

2,500 new cases are diagnosed each year in people under the age of 50.

Source –

“Bowel cancer is caused by unhealthy lifestyles”

The causes of bowel cancer are varied and not confirmed.

It is thought that a diet high in processed foods can increase the risk. Also, it’s shown that a diet high in fibre can reduce the bowel cancer risk.


It’s worth cutting down on these from a general health perspective anyway. However, there are lots of people with very healthy lifestyles who also get bowel cancer – Steve is an example, he was a 40 minute 10k runner, a yoga teacher and mixed martial artist yet still developed this disease.