If you’re a non-smoker in the UK, male or female, colon cancer is the cancer most likely to kill you.  

1 in 15 men and 1 in 18 women are at risk of developing this type of cancer, however it can be treated if it is detected early.  

Early diagnosis can save lives.  Our inspirational ambassador Tom Smith fully supported our recommendations:

1. Know the symptoms and act on them: (reference: Dr. Mark Porter in 'The Times' newspaper) 

  • Bleeding — blood, on the toilet paper, mixed with your stool or in the pan — is a relatively common symptom and often nothing to do with cancer. However, it might be, so every case should be reported and an underlying cause determined. And by the way, irritable bowel syndrome never causes bleeding
  • Any changes in bowel habit that last for more than 3-4 weeks. Any prolonged change is suspicious, but loose bowels/diarrhoea, particularly if you need to get to the loo in a hurry, tend to be more worrying

  • Cancer can also cause pain in your abdomen or back passage, but most cases are painless

  • Unexplained weight loss. Always a red flag and not just linked to bowel cancer
  • Shortness of breath and fatigue. Bowel cancers can cause bleeding for months without you noticing, leading to severe iron deficiency and anaemia

Please don't put it off: any abdominal symptoms or change in bowel habit should be discussed immediately with your doctor, whatever your age. 

2. Take up any screening that is offered to you (including posting back any test kits sent to your home. Please don't wait until you have symptoms to take up screening)

3. If you can, consider enhanced screening (Colonoscopy or accredited CT Colonography every 5-7 years from your mid-40s)

To find out more about the options available please go to our screening page:

Get Screened for colon cancer