Throughout our lives, the lining of the bowel constantly renews itself. This lining contains many millions of tiny cells, which grow, serve their purpose and then new cells take their place.
Each one of these millions of cells contains genes that give instructions to the cell on how to behave. When genes behave in a faulty manner, this can cause the cells to grow too quickly, which eventually leads to the formation of a growth that is known as a polyp. This can be the first step on the road towards cancer.
In some cases, bowel cancer can stop digestive waste passing through the bowel. This is known as a bowel obstruction.
Symptoms of a bowel obstruction can include:
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