Shocking new research has revealed a severe lack of knowledge and care surrounding bowel cancer, despite it being the fourth most common cancer in the world. In a study conducted by Newfoundland Diagnostics, a staggering 49 million cannot identify the symptoms of bowel cancer.

Only one in four were able to recognise the key warning signs. This knowledge gap is particularly concerning given that Cancer Research says more than 70% of bowel cancer cases are preventable.

The alarming study also found one in four under 45s do not prioritise bowel cancer, despite death rates forecast to increase in under-50s. It comes as the data revealed up to 76% of at-risk Brits admit to having never screened their bowel health.

UK bowel cancer death rates are forecast to rise by a third among under-50s. This is argued to be due to rising rates of obesity, poor diets and an increase in alcohol consumption, experts claim.

Early diagnosis of bowel cancer has a crucial impact on survival chances. When it’s diagnosed at the earliest stage, surviving is more than 9 in 10, compared to only 1 in 10 at the most advanced stage.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common in the world. For men, the most common is prostrate cancer and for women is it breast cancer. These are followed by lung cancer and bowel cancer.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should consult your GP and consider testing your bowel health:

  • A change in bowel habit.

  • Blood in your stool.

  • Abdominal pain.

  • Unexplained weight loss.

To get the nation testing, Newfoundland Diagnostics is offering free Bowel Health tests this Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, with any test purchased throughout April. To receive your free Bowel Health test, use code BOWELFREE at checkout when purchasing any other health test in April at

Symptoms of bowel cancer:

Bowel cancer is cancer that begins in the large bowel, which is made up of the colon and rectum. It’s sometimes called colorectal cancer. Bowel cancer can affect anyone, whatever your age, gender, ethnicity or where you live. According to, symptoms can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom.
  • Blood in your poo.
  • Losing weight but you’re not sure why.
  • Feeling very tired all the time but you’re not sure why.
  • A pain or lump in your tummy.
  • A change in your pooing habits - you might be going more or less often, or have diarrhoea or constipation that might come and go.

Having these symptoms doesn’t always mean you have bowel cancer, but it’s still important to find out what’s causing them. If you have any of these symptoms, or if you’re worried about any changes that you notice, visit your GP and ask for an at-home test.

It’s important to know that not everyone will have all the symptoms of bowel cancer, or they may get different symptoms at different times. Even if you have just one symptom, your GP will want to see you.