Paul Mohan (54), a bowel cancer survivor, is urging people to get any unusual symptoms checked out, as the Irish Cancer Society launch their annual Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

With over 2,700 people diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in Ireland, approximately 317 of these cases are in Cork. More than 1,000 people die from the disease every year, making it the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland.

Mr Mohan said, “As a diabetic, I have regular health checks. When something showed up in my routine bloods I wasn’t too worried, but they repeated the tests and when I started passing blood my GP sent me for a colonoscopy which revealed I had cancer. I had surgery, followed by 12 sessions of chemotherapy, but thankfully I am in remission now. I would encourage everyone to get any unusual symptoms checked out, as detecting and treating the cancer early is the key.”

The symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • A change in your normal bowel motion, such as diarrhoea or constipation.
  • Feeling you have not emptied your bowel fully after a motion.
  • Pain or discomfort in your abdomen (tummy) or back passage.
  • Trapped wind or fullness in your tummy.
  • Weight loss.
  • Tired and breathless (due to anaemia from blood loss).
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in stools.

To speak to a cancer nurse on any aspect of bowel cancer contact the Cancer Nurseline on freephone 1800 200 700, email