Around 5% of people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 16,000 people in the UK dying from it each year. The aim of bowel cancer screening is to detect the problem at an early stage, before symptoms are showing, when the likelihood of successful treatment is much greater.
Screening for bowel cancer is performed by checking stool samples (faeces) for traces of blood. If there is blood in the stool, then you will be invited for a colonoscopy (flexible camera examination of the bowel). The stool test will pick up most large cancers, although it may not detect polyps (early abnormalities or growths) and other non-bleeding cancers.
A colonoscopy enables the direct visualisation of the entire bowel and the removal or sampling of any abnormalities found. Most polyps found during the colonoscopy can be removed at the same time as the procedure, without the need for an operation and before they turn into cancers.
If you are at all concerned about bowel cancer, especially if you would prefer to be screened by the colonoscopy method, please make an appointment to discuss the matter with one of our bowel cancer specialists.
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Telephone:+44 (0) 20 7234 2009