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Bowel Cancer Awareness


  • pg 1
									Bowel Cancer Awareness
Understanding bowel cancer and how it
   develops will help prevent people
     believing the myths that are
     associated with this disease.
Key Facts
 Bowel cancer is the second most common
 cause of cancer death in the UK.
 It affects both women and men equally.
 Every year over 35,000 people in this
 country are diagnosed with the disease, this
 is one person every 15 minutes.
 Every year nearly 16,000 people die from
 bowel cancer, claiming a life every 30
However bowel cancer is highly
treatable if caught in the early stages.
Most symptoms do not turn out to be
bowel cancer.
Who is at risk

AGE: bowel cancer tends to affect
  women and men equally over the age
  of 55, however more and more people
  are being diagnosed.
FAMILY HISTORY: bowel cancer can
  occur in people who have a significant
  family history of bowel cancer.
DIET & LIFESTYLE: an inactive lifestyle,
  a low vegetable and high fat diet can
  increase the risk of bowel cancer.
People with long history of crohn’s or
  ulcerative colitis or who have previous
  polyps removed may be a an
  increased risk.
Persistent change of bowel habit over 4-6
weeks with unexplained constipation or
Persistent rectal bleeding with no soreness,
pain, swelling or itching.
Unexplained severe pain or a lump in the
Extreme tiredness without an obvious
It is important to remember that most
symptoms do not turn out to be bowel
If you experience any of these
problems you should speak to your
The Following outlines
  the disease process,
 investigation and the
   terminology that is
   frequently used….
Colorectal (large bowel) describes the
   colon and the rectum, cancer is a
 growth of abnormal or malignant cells
    and bowel cancer is a growth of
 malignant cells within the lining of the
            colon or rectum.
The majority of bowel cancers arise from
     non-malignant growths known as
   adenomas. In the early stages these
   resemble a polyp, a descriptive term
  for an overgrowth of cells which very
        similar to a bud on a stalk.
Polyps within the colon or rectum evolve
  from the inner or mucosal lining of the
        bowel wall and are normally
 detectable through a sigmoidoscope or
    colonoscope. If detected early they
     can be easily removed through the
    colonoscope by lassoing/snaring the
           polyp and removing it.
The benefits of screening

 Bowel Cancer is the second most common
 cause of cancer death in the UK and affects
 more than 35,000 people each year. The
 mortality figures - 16,000 people a year -
 are so high because many people are
 currently diagnosed in the later stages of
 the disease. However, 90% of bowel cancer
 cases are highly treatable if caught early,
 which is why screening is so important.
The Test

Faecal Occult Blood Tests: The test used in
  the Bowel Screening Programme is called a
  Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBt). This looks
  for hidden blood in stools, which can
  indicate the presence of bowel cancer. It
  involves smearing a sample of stool onto a
  special card and sending it off to a
  laboratory for testing. Three separate bowel
  motions will be tested with each kit.
“Bowel cancer is highly treatable if caught
  early – with an estimated 90% survival rate.
  However, a quarter of bowel cancer cases
  are not diagnosed until after the cancer has
  spread, most often to the liver. Early
  detection through screening is therefore a
  vital step towards saving lives and we hope
  as many eligible people as possible will take
  part.” Julia Kennedy, Head of Service
  Delivery at Bowel Cancer UK.
Barbara Oatey’s story

 Barbara Oatey was 60 and looking forward to an
 active retirement when she was diagnosed with
 colorectal cancer. After 20 years of living with
 assorted food allergies, she had grown used to an
 erratic bowel. Barbara initially dismissed her
 symptoms, some rectal bleeding and the increase in
 frequency of her trips to the loo, as being stress
 related and told herself they would settle down
 once she was less busy. However when a holiday to
 France came and went and there was still no
 improvement Barbara decided she had to take
Don't Delay
 having delayed taking action by what was now 6 months Barbara
was very quickly diagnosed with rectal cancer and confronted by
the need for surgery. Fortunately for Barbara the prognosis was
good as although the cancer had probably been there for 2 to 3
years it had reached only the surface of her rectum and had not
spread beyond. Surgery was all that was needed.
Talk it Through
Barbara says that she was scared about the diagnosis and the
thought of the operation and so was her husband. Their first
reaction was to sit down and talk a lot about their retirement plans
and their hopes and fears for the future. During the 2 weeks
before her operation they tackled some practical tasks like making
sure their finances and wills were in order. They did not want to
be gloomy but Barbara found it helped her to know that some
loose ends were "tidied up". Barbara also found that talking to and
reassuring friends and family about her illness helped her and her
husband too.
Reducing Your Risk

 Eat a healthy diet low in fat and high
 in fibre, including at least five portions
 of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.
 Drink plenty of fresh fluid, water in
 Get to know your bowel pattern, so
 you know what’s normal for you.
Take up regular exercise to keep fit
and healthy.
Be aware of your family history. If
there is a history of bowel cancer in
your family, get yourself checked out
    Talking to your GP

The most important thing is not
  to be embarrassed when you
    go to talk to your doctor,
 remember they deal with many
 patients every day with similar

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