If you knew you could cut your risk of bowel cancer with just 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week, would you do it? This is all it would take, according to scientists, to reduce the chances of developing bowel cancer and yet two thirds of adults aren’t aware of this.
Bowel cancer screening could save your life. It could also save the life of other people as it helps to increase our understanding of the disease and supports vital research.
One in 14 men and one in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime. The disease claims over 16,000 lives a year in the UK, making it the second biggest cancer killer. It is most common in the over 50s, accounting for nine out of 10 new cases.
Bowel cancer is a treatable disease if it is diagnosed early and screening is one of the best ways of catching it early. According to Cancer Research UK, screening produces the highest number of early stage diagnoses for bowel cancer.
Obesity significantly increases your risk of many types of disease, one of the most serious of which is bowel cancer. A recent public health campaign aimed to educate people about the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight in preventing cancer.
One in six deaths worldwide are due to cancer. In the UK, 359,734 cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2015. Cancer rates are continuing to rise and as more countries adopt Western lifestyles this is expected to skyrocket by as much as 54%. Global cancer rates are predicted to reach around 24 million by 2035.
When bowel cancer is diagnosed, it is given a number according to what stage it has reached. Doctors may also use a staging system known as TNM to provide more detail about the size and spread of the cancer.
A colostomy is a surgical procedure that diverts a part of your large intestine out through an opening in your abdominal wall. This creates a stoma to which a colostomy bag is attached for collecting poo. Colostomies can be temporary or long-term.
If you notice blood when you open your bowels, don’t ignore it, but equally, try not to panic as it can have many causes, many of them harmless.
If you have been referred for a colonoscopy, or, if you are experiencing bowel related symptoms that need investigation, it can be reassuring to know exactly what to expect before you attend for your appointment.