Bowel Cancer screening and why it’s now more important than ever
It can feel embarrassing talking about your bowels, but not talking about them could prove deadly.
It is not the easiest subjects to discuss, but rest assured your doctor will be more than happy to hear from you if you have any concerns.
It is now more important than ever to be screened for this potentially fatal disease because with prompt treatment the survival rates are good, but without detection, it can kill you.
Symptoms of bowel cancer
If you have had any of these symptoms for three weeks or longer please visit your doctor or make an appointment to come and see us:
- Abdominal pain, especially if severe
- A lump in your tummy
- Unexplained weight loss or tiredness
- Bleeding from the bottom or blood in your poo
- A persistent change in bowel habit, especially going more often or looser stools
These symptoms might not be bowel cancer, but it is worth checking them out with a doctor. Find out more here https://www.beatingbowelcancer.org/understanding-bowel-cancer/symptoms/
Statistics from Cancer Research UK show:
The bad news is:
- Every half an hour someone dies of bowel cancer approx 14,000 people per year in the UK
- Every quarter of an hour someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer - approximately 41,000 people per year in the UK
- It is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK
The good news is:
- In the UK is diagnosed early, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully
- Five-year survival rates for bowel cancer have doubled over the last 40 years in the UK.
NHS Screening programme for Bowel Cancer
The NHS run a bowel cancer screening programme for those aged 60-74 years old which is a simple FOB (fecal occult blood) test which detects blood hidden in small samples of stool. You complete the test over the course of a few days, in the privacy of your own home. Once complete, you simply return it in the post to a central laboratory for testing.
Sadly only about 60% of people complete these simple screening tests.
This test is due to be superseded this year by a New Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) which should be more accurate.
Southdowns screening service
At Southdowns we offer a full abdominal screening service which checks for bowel cancer as well as stomach, colon, liver and rectal cancers in addition to pancreatic and ovarian cancers. It is 85% accurate and can detect cancers before even before symptoms manifest themselves.
The computer generates a detailed three-dimensional (3D) model of the colon enabling an internal view of the colon to identify any early abnormalities.
This scan is carried out privately at St Richards Hospital Chichester.
Call us to find out more or book online