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Worried about Bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK.  If caught early it is curable.  Often bowel cancer has no symptoms at all and the only clue is a family history. Most people with bowel cancer have no family history and have no symptoms. The best way to rule out bowel cancer completely is by colonoscopy.

Bowel cancer is unusual in people below the age of 40 but this is becoming more common.

Although most vague symptoms are not caused by bowel cancer they should be investigated.  Some common symptoms are discussed below.

Unexplained weight loss

This is not normal and should be investigated.  I will take a full history from you in clinic and organise investigations as needed – these may include a colonoscopy or CT scan.

Abdominal pain

​It is not normal to have abdominal pain.  It is important that you have this checked out.  In clinic I will take a full history and organise investigations that will guide me to treating your symptoms. These may include colonsocpy, CT scan, or ​ultrasound.

Change in bowel habit

Although diet, drink and stomach bugs can affect your bowels it is unusual for these changes to persist.  It they continue for more that a few weeks it is important to get checked out.  In clinic I will take a full history and investigate as needed. This will usually include a colonoscopy.

Rectal bleeding

​Most causes of bleeding are entirely benign but bleeding is not normal and must be investigated.  Cancers in the  lower most part of the bowel can present with bleeding as the only symptom.  In clinic I will take a full history and thoroughly examine and investigate to rule this out.  This may include a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Anal pain, irritation and itchiness

Symptoms around your back passage are not normal and you should get them checked out. I will see you in clinic and take a full history and examine you thoroughly.

The most common reasons for these symptoms around your back passage are haemorrhoids, anal fissures, anal skin tags or an anal fistula or abscess.

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​Case study: Rectal bleeding and bowel cancer

Mr JB had a single episode of bleeding from the back passage.  He wasn’t too worried about it but his partner had encouraged him to get it checked out particularly because he had been having occasional diarrhoea also.

Mr JB did some research online and wanted to see Mr Peravali Given his expertise and experience in the area.  Mr Peravali saw Mr JB the next day.  He recommended a colonoscopy and Mr JB reluctantly agreed.

The colonoscopy was performed a few days later.  Mr Peravali found a growth in Mr JB’s left colon and biopsied the growth.

Mr Peravali took time to explain this to Mr JB, his partner and his son.  He explained that he was suspicious that this growth was cancer.  Mr Peravali very promptly arranged scans and arraged to see Mr JB and his family a few days later with the results of the scans and the biopsies.

The biopsies confirmed cancer.  The scans confirmed that the cancer had not spread anywhere.

Mr JB went on to have surgery a few days later and made an uneventful recovery and although he will be under close observation by Mr Peravali – he is effectively cured from the cancer!

Contact Us

BMI The Edgbaston Hospital

22 Somerset Rd

West Midlands

Birmingham B15 2QQ

(0121) 446 1684

Spire Little Aston Hospital

Little Aston Hall Drive

The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield

Birmingham ​B74 3UP

(0121) 580 7302

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