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Bowel cancer health centre

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Overview & facts

Learn about bowel cancer causes, risk factors, symptoms and prevention.

What is bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer may also be referred to as colon or rectal cancer depending on where the cancer is located.

The bowels are part of a person's intestines and are responsible for the body's waste disposal system after eating food.

Bowel cancer usually begins as a polyp. Learn about polyps here.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about bowel cancer.

The exact cause of bowel cancer is not known. However, there are several risk factors for the disease.

One of the risk factors for bowel cancer is a family history of the disease.


Opting for healthier habits may help reduce the risk of getting bowel cancer.

The NHS offers bowel cancer screening to all older adults.

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