April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

March 31st, 2016

Bowel cancer is the third most common form of cancer in England, often referred to as rectal cancer or colon cancer; this depends on where the cancerous cells form.

The causes of bowel cancer are unknown but there have been high risks and factors identified:

  • Family history – where you have a strong family history with multiple relatives being diagnosed
  • Age – bowel cancer mostly occurs in older people
  • Poor diet
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Smoking

If you are have any worried thoughts or believe you may have bowel cancer, here are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pains
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Bleeding from rectum
  • Lump in abdomen/rectum
  • Blood in stools

Most of the symptoms occur in other health conditions and are not related to cancer in any way, but it is always important to visit your GP to get checked out.

Bowel cancer is treated by further tests with the specialist, which will include:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Proctoscopy/sigmoidoscopy
  • Blood tests
  • Barium enema

Various treatment is offered for bowel cancer, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and biological therapy.

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