Bowel cancer is also known as colorectal cancer. Around 42,900 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year. It is the 4th most common cancer in the UK.
Symptoms of bowel cancer
It brings changes in bowel habits and also results in abdominal pain and blood in poo.
Who gets bowel cancer?
Both men and women can get bowel cancer. It is more common in older people.
Risk of bowel cancer
The risk of developing bowel cancer depends on many factors, including age (almost 9 in 10 people with bowel cancer are aged 60 or over), family history of bowel cancer, and personal history of medical conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are also important risk factors.
Bowel Cancer Screening
To detect cases of bowel cancer early, everyone aged 60 to 74 years living in England, is automatically sent a bowel cancer screening home test kit every 2 years. The NHS sends these kits to people aged 60 to 74 to their own homes, to help counter bowel cancer. However, people at an early age can also suffer from bowel cancer, so younger generations must remain vigilant if they fall into any of the risk factors already mentioned above.
When to see your GP for medical advice?
See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for 3 weeks or more. The GP may decide to examine your tummy and bottom to make sure that there are no lumps. A simple blood test can also be undertaken. You can also seek advice from Consultdoc’s online GP service if you are not sure about your symptoms. Early diagnosis of the disease can save the lives of many people. Visit the NHS website for more information on bowel cancer.