Bowel cancer warning: The exact colour of your stools that could be worrying condition

These are the common signs to look out for with bowel cancer
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


The reasons for the variations in your stool could stem from digestive issues to serious conditions like bowel cancer. Experts have pointed out that it's crucial to be aware of changes in your normal bowel habits or blood spotted in your stool - these could potentially signal indications of bowel cancer.

The disease may initially make its presence known in your large intestine (known as colon cancer) or rectum (rectal cancer). While common bowel complications and more alarming problems might seem indistinguishable, medical professionals highlight the importance of paying attention to the colour of your stool.

A cautionary observation made on the Cancer Research UK website is if you spy blood in your stool that resembles tar in colour - this necessitates immediate consultation with a doctor. It mentions: "Blood from higher up in the bowel doesn't look bright red. It goes dark red or black and can make your poo look like tar. This type of bleeding can be a sign of cancer higher up the bowel. Or it could be from a bleeding stomach ulcer for example."

Meanwhile, Dr Porter of The Times provides some insights in his column about what common warning signs could mean. He noted: "Common red flags include bleeding from your bottom (often not cancer but never normal) and/or an unexplained and prolonged change in bowel habit (more than a few weeks), typically to becoming looser rather than constipated."

Porter stated: "Call or email your practice, outlining your symptoms (and any relevant family history of bowel cancer), stating that you are concerned. What happens next will depend on practice policy but will often start with a stool test that you can do at home to look for, or confirm, bleeding, as well as some blood tests, all followed by an appointment with the GP to run through your symptoms and results. And this will typically include a physical examination and a finger up your backside.", reports the Mirror.