Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in men in the UK, with around 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year. About 1 in every 10 men in the UK will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime so it is vital that you are aware of the signs and symptoms.
If caught early enough, bowel cancer can be treated and prevented. All men aged 60 to 74 are invited to carry out a FIT or FOB test with the NHS. In the UK, you don’t qualify for the NHS bowel cancer ‘FIT’ test until you’re 60, but 10% of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed under 50, and 73% are diagnosed at a later stage. With bowel cancer rates in young men increasing, it is important that you are taking precautions earlier, early diagnosis can result in prevention and cure.
At Pall Mall Medical we offer ColoAlert® – a non-invasive, at-home testing kit which can be used by all ages. The test combines the FIT test and DNA technology to detect blood before any symptoms or bleeding may occur.
The symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and do not necessarily make you feel ill. However, it’s worth trying simple treatments for a short time to see if they get better first.
More than 90% of people with bowel cancer have one of the following combinations of symptoms:
- A persistent change in bowel habit – pooing more often, with looser, runnier stool and sometimes abdominal pain
- Blood in the stool without other symptoms of piles (haemorrhoids) – this makes it unlikely the cause is haemorrhoids
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating – sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss
In some cases, bowel cancer can stop digestive waste passing through the bowel. This is known as a bowel obstruction. Symptoms of a bowel obstruction can include:
- Intermittent, and occasionally severe, abdominal pain – this is always bought on by eating
- Unintentional weight loss – with persistent abdominal pain
- Constant swelling of the tummy – with abdominal pain
- Being sick – with constant abdominal swelling
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, the ColoAlert test can help to rule out bowel cancer and provide you with peace of mind.
For more information on ColoAlert® testing click here or call 03300 58 44 55.