You usually start by seeing your GP. They will feel your tummy (abdomen) and examine your back passage (rectal examination). Your GP will gently place a gloved finger into your back passage to feel for any lumps or swellings. This may be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t take long. It will be less uncomfortable if you are able to relax. Let your GP know if you find the examination painful, because it’s important for them to tell the hospital specialist.
You may have blood tests. This is to check for anaemia (a low number of red blood cells) or to check how well your liver and kidneys are working.
Your GP will refer you to a hospital specialist. This is usually either a surgeon or a specialist in bowel conditions (gastroenterologist). If your GP thinks you might have cancer, you should be seen at the hospital within two weeks.