Bowel Cancer Awareness

  • Bowel cancer awareness - 2,700 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in Ireland
  • Watch our video on bowel health
  • Spot bowel cancer early
  • Online bowel health checker: Check your bowel health

Bowel cancer (also known as colon, rectal or colorectal cancer) affects both men and women. Over 2,700 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in Ireland every year. It is also the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland. If bowel cancer is found early, it can be successfully treated. Learn the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and use our online bowel health checker to answer a few questions and check your bowel health today.

Woman holding her stomach

Symptoms of bowel cancer can include long-lasting changes in bowel movements, blood in your poo, pain or discomfort in your stomach, unexplained weight loss and more. 

Learn more

Older man hiking

You can reduce your chances of getting bowel cancer by eating well, having a healthy body weight and getting regular exercise. It's also important to limit alcohol and avoid smoking.

More about risk factors

BowelScreen test kit

If you're 60 or over you can take part in the free national bowel screening programme, BowelScreen. Screening helps detect bowel cancer sooner when it can be more easily treated.

More on bowel screening

The main treatments for bowel cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, biological therapy and radiotherapy. Find out what these treatments are and how they work.

More on treatments

With early detection key to successful treatment of bowel cancer, the Irish Cancer Society has raised the issue of colonoscopy waiting times in bowel cancer screening with the Government of Ireland.

Learn more

Our booklet Bowel Cancer: What You Should Know is a handy, condensed guide to understanding the risk factors, signs, symptoms and treatment of bowel cancer.

Read booklet

Once your treatment is over, your doctor will want to see you for regular check-ups. This is known as follow-up. Learn more about what's involved after treatment for bowel cancer and find support and resources.

Learn more

How BowelScreen works

Watch this short video from the HSE about how quick and easy it is to get screen for bowel cancer:

Watch video

Watch our video on bowel health

Watch our short animation that talks about bowel health. Learn the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and use our online bowel health checker to answer a few questions and check your bowel health today.

Watch: Bowel health tips

Shane's bowel cancer story


Shane realised something wasn't right when he was suddenly experiencing cramping and constipation. Thanks to early detection, his bowel cancer was caught early and successfully treated.

Read his story