Can excess gas be cancer? When should you investigate?

In general, excess gas is a cause for concern when it is accompanied by strong odors, pain, abdominal swelling or when more than 20 gases are eliminated per day.

Coloproctologist Mariana Pramio Singer says flatulence is not necessarily a sign of cancer .

However, this can be an indication that something is wrong and needs investigation, points out the doctor.

“ When the patient finds it difficult to eliminate gases and evacuate, a specialist should be sought immediately. In this case, it is very important to carry out emergency tests, as it may be a sign of intestinal obstruction due to a tumor ”.

There are also several changes in bowel habits that can be signs of cancer, such as diarrhea and feces with pus or blood.

In these cases, the recommendation of the coloproctologist is to look for a specialist who will be able to make evaluations and tests such as colonoscopy (routine examination for prevention or diagnosis of diseases in the intestine, such as cancer).


What can be excessive flatulence?

Excessive flatulence can have several causes. Among the most common are food, the presence of worms, irritable bowel syndrome and bowel cancer.

Check out each of these causes:


Food is important at all stages of life. Its quality influences in several aspects, being directly related to health and well-being.

Some foods contribute to excess gas:

  •  Legumes such as beans, green beans and lentils;
  • Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower;
  • Eggs and sausages (bologna, ham and sausage).

Foods high in fat (such as fast foods), processed sugars (chocolates and sweets in general) and white pasta in general (white bread and pasta) can also favor excessive flatulence.

On the other hand, the consumption of water (on average 2L per day), some types of teas (fennel and fennel) and foods rich in fiber (plum and pumpkin ) help to reduce or gases.


Excessive gases can be symptoms of the presence of worms in the digestive system. This condition can be characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite and abdominal pain.

The types of worms are detected by a laboratory stool and blood test.

Treatment is done with the use of vermifuges and medications that control the symptoms.

Hygiene, basic sanitation and drinking water are conditions that help to prevent the presence of worms in the body.

Irritable bowel syndrome

This syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder that presents, among other things, flatulence with foul odors, pain and changes in the frequency of bowel movement.

Treatment is with drugs and dietary changes. Although the drugs are useful, they do not cure the problem, but they can control the symptoms.

Bowel cancer

The National Cancer Institute (INCA) estimates that 36,000 new cases of bowel cancer were diagnosed in 2018.

Factors such as age (over 50 years), poor diet, obesity and smoking can contribute to its development.

This type of cancer also has the symptom of excessive flatulence, as long as it is accompanied by other signs, such as bloody stools and pain when evacuating.

The diagnosis of this disease requires a biopsy exam that consists of removing a small piece of intestinal tissue and analyzing it in the laboratory.

When can excess gas be a sign of cancer?

Excess gas is one of the symptoms of bowel cancer. However, excessive flatulence alone is not enough to diagnose the disease . That is, in order to raise the hypothesis of bowel cancer, excess gas must be accompanied by other, more specific symptoms.

In general, the main ones are changes in the frequency of bowel movements, bloody or mucous stools, hemorrhoids and weight loss.

Bowel cancer can still have different symptoms depending on where it manifests:

  • On the right side: the symptoms are weakness, anemia and tenesmus (frequent urge to evacuate even if there is no feces to be eliminated);
  • On the left side: it can cause constipation and abnormally colored stools;
  • In the rectum (part of the large intestine, before the anus) : there, cancer can cause bleeding and pain during bowel movement.

It is extremely important that the person experiencing these symptoms see a doctor, especially if there is no improvement in a few days.

To prevent bowel cancer and excess gas take care of the diet that should be rich in fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and stop smoking.

Therefore, only gases, in general, are not an indication of cancer and need not cause concern.

Excessive gas, if accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty in evacuating and stools accompanied by blood or pus, can be a sign of cancer.

To make the correct diagnosis, a coloproctologist should be consulted.

The Healthy Minute brings a lot of information about other diseases and symptoms . Follow our posts!