Early Diagnosis of Bowel Cancer - Critical

Men and women are equally affected by bowel cancer (colorectal cancer). The cancer ideally needs to be detected before it has had a chance to move to the lymph glands. Therefore improved survival is dependent on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of early stage disease (no cancerous spread to the lymph glands or distant organs).

As one of the UK's leading expert in bowel cancer explains, "Most bowel cancers arise from pre-cancerous polyps, and that early detection of these polyps (screening) offers the opportunity to prevent bowel cancer developing and to treat the condition before it progresses to an advanced stage."

In his article for totalhealth, http://www.totalhealth.co.uk/clinical-experts/mr-austin-obichere/treatm…

Mr Austin Obichere at University College Hospital goes on to say, "A smaller proportion of bowel cancers are inherited and a detailed family history by the specialist is required to identify those who may be at risk of the disease."


Be aware of rectal bleeding and change of bowel habit

The presentation of bowel cancer may vary from no symptoms at all to worrisome complaints such as rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habit, weight loss and anaemia (low blood count). Sometimes an abdominal swelling arising from the colon may be felt by the patient or their doctor. Diagnosis is made by visualising the entire length of large bowel with a fibre optic camera (colonoscope) to locate the site of the tumour, and obtain tissue samples for confirmatory diagnosis. Sometimes it is not possible to complete the colonoscopy for technical reasons or the patient may be considered unfit for the procedure. In such circumstances, a barium enema or CT-pneumocolon / virtual colonoscopy are acceptable alternative methods of examining the large bowel.

Relating to the abdomen, which is the region of the body between the chest and the pelvis. Full medical glossary
A reduced level of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. Anaemia causes tiredness, breathlessness and abnormally pale skin. Full medical glossary
A barium enema is a medical procedure used to examine and diagnose problems with the colon (large intestine). X-ray pictures are taken while barium sulphate fills the colon via the rectum. Full medical glossary
A fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. Full medical glossary
A common name for the large and/or small intestines. Full medical glossary
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
Malignant, a tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The large intestine. Full medical glossary
Examination of the colon and rectum with a colonoscope, an imaging instrument that is inserted through the anus. Full medical glossary
The abbreviation for computed tomography, a scan that generates a series of cross-sectional x-ray images Full medical glossary
The process of determining which condition a patient may have. Full medical glossary
The introduction of a liquid into the bowel via the anus either to deliver a drug or to wash out the contents of the rectum. Full medical glossary
An organ with the ability to make and secrete certain fluids. Full medical glossary
A watery or milky bodily fluid containing lymphocytes, proteins and fats. Lymph accumulates outside the blood vessels in the intercellular spaces of the body tiisues and is collected by the vessels of the lymphatic system. Full medical glossary
A growth on the surface of a mucous membrane (a surface that secretes mucus, lining any body cavity that opens to the outside of the body). Full medical glossary
Growths on the surface of a mucous membrane (a surface that secretes mucous), lining any body cavity that opens to the outside of the body. Full medical glossary
Relating to the rectum, the lowest part of the bowel leading to the anus. Full medical glossary
A way to identify people who may have a certain condition, among a group of people who may or may not seem to Full medical glossary
A group of cells with a similar structure and a specialised function. Full medical glossary
An abnormal swelling. Full medical glossary
Relating to the sense of sight (vision). Full medical glossary