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Getting diagnosed

You usually start by seeing your GP. They will ask you about your general health and symptoms and will also examine you. This might include an examination of your back passage (rectum). Your doctor will then decide whether to do tests or refer you to a specialist.

Seeing your GP

See your doctor if you notice a change in your bowel habit that isn't normal for you or if you have any other of the possible signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.

Referral to a specialist

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist if you have symptoms that could be due to bowel cancer.

Tests to diagnose

Find out about the tests you might have to diagnose bowel cancer.

Tests to stage

These tests find out the position of the cancer, how big it is and whether it has spread. This tells you the stage of your bowel cancer.


Find out about bowel cancer screening programmes in the UK. 

Screening for people at high risk of bowel cancer

Find out about screening for people at high risk of bowel cancer.

Last reviewed: 
26 Jul 2018

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