One Stop Rectal Bleeding Clinic at Spire St Anthony's Hospital

Bleeding from the rectum (your anus or bottom when going to the toilet) can be one of the most unnerving experiences for anyone. The reasons for such bleeding are usually benign like piles, however rectal bleeding can also be the first ‘high-risk’ symptom of bowel cancer. 

Typically, the majority of patients are also very well in themselves and the rectal bleed seems to have happened ‘out of the blue’. Quite understandably if this has happened to you, you would want a specialist opinion and if needed an endoscopy examination (camera test) at the earliest possible opportunity.

“A 'One Stop Shop' for 'worried well' patients”

The new Rectal Bleeding Clinic at Spire St Antony’s Hospital, with Professor Kumar is a ‘One Stop Shop’ where a clinic consultation with a specialist colorectal surgeon is combined with an endoscopy examination on the same day to establish the cause for your rectal bleeding and in most instances reassure you before you go home. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a relatively safe test that is well tolerated. An instrument is inserted into the rectum and lower half of the large bowel, which is where most colorectal cancers arise. A flexible sigmoidoscopy can detect cancers in this part of the bowel but can also detect other causes for symptoms of bleeding such as polyps (usually benign growths arising from the lining of the bowel) or piles. Often polyps can be safely removed at the same time and piles can be treated.

The clinic is a unique facility in the region offering prompt consultation with Professor Kumar, investigation and in most cases a diagnosis and reassurance, all on the same day. Self-referrals are accepted or if you are insured, you can ask to be referred by your GP after checking with your insurer that you are covered.

After the consultation in most cases, you will proceed to a flexible sigmoidoscopy and be offered treatment during the same visit. If a flexible sigmoidoscopy is not appropriate, this will be discussed with you at the time. If further investigations are needed apart from flexible sigmoidoscopy, these will be booked on the day as well.

In the UK cancer of the colon and rectum (bowel cancer) is the third most common cause of cancer death after lung and breast cancer

Q. What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

The ‘high-risk’ symptoms are (i) change in bowel habit to loose and more frequent stools, (ii) bleeding from the back passage (rectal bleeding) without anal symptoms (iii) blood mixed with stools. These symptoms become more important if you are over 60 years of age and have had these symptoms for 6 or more weeks, or are associated with an abdominal lump, a mass in your back passage (rectal mass) or unexplained iron deficiency anaemia detected by your GP.

Q. I have someone in my family diagnosed with bowel cancer, should I be worried?

Yes, but not unduly so. The vast majority of colorectal cancers happen in older individuals (average age 60-70 years) and are not inherited. However inherited factors do play a role in two ways: (i) Inherited syndromes that run in families caused by specific gene abnormalities that predispose to developing colorectal cancer. These contribute to less than 5% of all colorectal cancers. (ii) The more common 'clustering' or grouping of bowel cancer cases in a family due to inherited and other factors. If you have one (or more) first degree relatives (sibling or parent) diagnosed with bowel cancer at a young age (less than 50yrs), you may require surveillance with colonoscopy (camera test) as you would have a higher risk of having colorectal cancer.

Q. I have inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), does it increase my risk of developing colorectal cancer?

Yes. If you suffer from Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease of the colon, then your risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with each passing decade of having the disease. Regular surveillance colonoscopy with biopsy must be undertaken every 2 years.

Q. What is bowel cancer screening and should I take part?

Bowel cancer screening detects bowel cancer in individuals with no bowel symptoms.  Screening detects bowel cancer at an early stage and improves cancer survival rates. In England all men and women aged 60 to 69 years are offered screening in the form of a stool test kit to detect occult (or unseen) blood in stools and if positive is followed up by a colonoscopy. 

About Professor Kumar

Professor Devinder Kumar is highly experienced Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery at St George’s University of London and Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon at St George’s Hospital in London.

Professor Kumar obtained his undergraduate medical degree from the University of Delhi, India, in 1975. Following this he worked in the Small- Pox eradication programme and was awarded a certificate of merit by the Minister of Health.

He completed his basic surgical training at Great Ormond Street Hospital for sick children, St James’ Hospital in Balham and the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke. During this time he passed the FRCS examination.

He then went on to undertake research in Gastrointestinal motility at the Royal London Hospital and was awarded a PhD from the University of London. He was successful in obtaining a Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic for 2 years.

In 1994, he moved to London to take up a position as Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon at St George’s Hospital. He was awarded a personal chair in Gastrointestinal Surgery in 2004 by the University of London.

He has published 120 original papers in peer reviewed journals, more than 50 review articles and book chapters and has authored/edited 6 books. Professor Kumar is a regular reviewer for national and international journals.

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Insured Patients
Simply visit your GP and ask them to refer you to a consultant who practises at Spire St Anthony's Hospital hospital. Your GP will write a letter of referral and then either you or your GP can contact us to arrange your first out-patient appointment on 020 8335 4678/9.

Self Pay Patients

For most self-pay treatments, you’ll need a GP referral letter to bring to your first appointment. Simply call us on 020 8335 4646 or email us on to request a guide price or to discuss your personal situation.

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