What is Bowel Cancer?
Bowel cancer is the general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. It can sometimes start in the small bowel, but this is much rarer.
How common is Bowel Cancer?
In England, bowel cancer is the third most common type of cancer. An estimated 38,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Interestingly, over the world the rates of colorectal cancer have remained relatively stable for the last ten years.
Around 80% of people diagnosed with bowel cancer are over 60. A diet high in fibre and low in saturated fat could reduce your bowel cancer risk. Leaner people are less likely to develop bowel cancer than obese people. Having a close relative with bowel cancer puts you at much greater risk of developing the disease.
What are the symptoms of Bowel Cancer?
The initial symptoms of bowel cancer include blood in your stools or bleeding from your rectum, a change to your normal bowel habits that persists for more than six weeks, abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss. It can also lead to anaemia.
How is Bowel Cancer treated?
Bowel cancer can be treated by surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or biological therapy.
If access to Specialist Treatment centres is important, choose a policy with London Hospital coverage.