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The month of April aims to increase awareness of Bowel Cancer and encourages charity events to raise funds towards treating this condition. Organisations such as Bowel Cancer UK are currently pursuing their aim of ensuring there are no victims of bowel cancer by 2050.
Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is one of the UK’s biggest killers, despite the fact it is both treatable and curable. It is the fourth most common cancer and the second biggest cancer killer. Awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer and contacting your GP if these symptoms arise is vital in ensuring you receive treatment as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of bowel cancer is vital for saving lives.
Common symptoms of bowel cancer include:
- Bleeding from the bottom and blood in your poo
- Unexplained changes in your bowel habits i.e.; needing the toilet more often
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pains and/or lumps
Bowel cancer shares many of its symptoms with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), haemorroids, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease. Like bowel cancer these conditions can cause abdominal pain and changes to your bowel habits, making them hard to differentiate them from one another and diagnose. This devastatingly increases the risk of late, or undiagnosed bowel cancer.
A diagnosis usually stems from your GP referring specialists to take further tests. Should your GP fail to perform or refer the correct examination required to detect the presence of bowel cancer, you are at serious risk of a late, or even miss-diagnosis of bowel cancer. Symptoms, and test results can be misread or overlooked by medical practitioners which further increase the risk of un diagnosed bowel cancer, leading to devastating consequences. The Colorectal cancer Alliance found that more than 70% of patients who were aged 49 or over were diagnosed with bowel cancer at stage three or four.
Early detection and diagnosis of bowel cancer is crucial in saving lives.
If you or someone you know believe your bowel cancer symptoms have been ignored or misdiagnosed as another condition such as IBS, and you have received delayed treatment as a result, contact our clinical negligence team at email@example.com or call us on 01484 821 500 to discuss pursuing a clinical negligence claim.