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COVID-19 update:  Our hospital is still fully open for appointments and admissions, however visitors are not permitted.

Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death in the UK with 32 – 34,000 new cases diagnosed and 19,000 deaths each year.   70% of these cancers are easy to diagnose.

Many people are now aware that the high number of deaths is unnecessary and research has shown that a bowel cancer screening can reduce risk factors and improve survival through the identification and successful removal of high risk polyps and early cancers.

Bowel cancer screening

Bowel cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death in the UK with 32 – 34,000 new cases diagnosed and 19,000 deaths each year. 70% of these cancers are easy to diagnose.

Many people are now aware that the high number of deaths is unnecessary and research has shown that screening can reduce risk factors and improve survival through the identification and successful removal of high risk polyps and early cancers.

It is well established that the earlier you present, the better your chance of identifying early disease and thus beat one of the most leading causes of cancer death.

How common is bowel cancer?

Age at diagnosis incidence:

  • Under 50  – 1 in 25,000
  • 50 – 69    – 1 in 1000
  • Over 70    – 1 in 333

Who is considered at risk?

Anyone who fits any of the following:

  • Rectal bleeding with diarrhoea (loose stools for more than 6 weeks)
  • Rectal bleeding without any symptoms in patients older than 45 years
  • Alteration in bowel habit (diarrhoea or worsening constipation) for more than 6 weeks
  • Unexplained anaemia (low blood count)
  • Men with a haemoglobin (Hb) lower than 11
  • Females with a haemoglobin (Hb) lower than 10
  • If a close family member has been diagnosed with bowel cancer
  • Anyone over the age of 55 years

What does the screening process involve?

There is an initial consultation with a Consultant Coloproctologist (bowel cancer specialist) followed by a physical examination.

Following your initial consultation, your specialist will decide which type of investigation is most appropriate for you. This will either be a telescope test of the bowel or investigation by X-ray (CT Scan). Whichever investigation you are recommended, you will be given a strong laxative prior to the test in order to clear your bowels.

Samples may be taken and sent for analysis.

The whole procedure is routinely very well tolerated and is undertaken as an extended outpatient / day stay depending on the individual.

A follow-up consultation will be arranged to discuss the results from the investigation.

Please be reassured that in the majority of cases, the results will be negative and patients will require no further treatment.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on +44 207 806 4060.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

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