Bowel, or colorectal cancer can take between five and ten years to develop and can be found anywhere in the bowel or rectum. Many bowel cancers begin as polyps or small growths, which are often non-cancerous and can generally be removed easily. However, depending on how long they are left they can become cancerous. Often, bowel cancer can spread to other parts of the body, including the liver. Eight out of ten cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed in people over 60 .
Mr Barry Taylor, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Spire Cheshire Hospital, comments:
"Bowel cancer is becoming increasingly common, but if diagnosed and treated early is completely curable by endoscopy, surgery, chemotherapy or a combination of these. The problem with early diagnosis is that symptoms tend to be vague and may be mistaken for other conditions such as piles and irritable bowel syndrome. The most important message therefore is that symptoms related to the lower bowel, such as bleeding and diarrhoea, should be investigated early. So don't delay; see your GP today!"
Top tips for spotting the symptoms of bowel cancer:
- A change in your normal bowel habit lasting four weeks or more
- Bleeding from the bottom and/or blood in your stools
- Extreme tiredness without obvious cause
- A pain and/or lump in your abdomen
Spire Cheshire Hospital also offers a bowel cancer screening service as colorectal (bowel) cancer can be cured if detected at an early stage. The procedure called ‘virtual colonoscopy’ utilises the latest CT body scanner technology for detecting colon growths and cancers. For more information or to make an appointment please call 01925 215067
For more information on bowel cancer, please visit www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/ or call the bowel cancer advisory service on 0800 840 35 40.