Bowel Cancer Awareness Month 2024

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month 2024
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam Updated: In: Medical Negligence

April marks Bowel Cancer Awareness Month with this year’s campaign being ‘Trust Your Gut’. With more than 9 in 10 people surviving bowel cancer when it’s diagnosed in it’s early stages, spotting the warning signs is crucial to improve how treatable it is likely to be. This figure significantly drops the longer that it takes to diagnose and treat the bowel cancer. However, bowel cancer remains the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. Therefore, AWH Solicitors is helping to spread awareness of the warning signs and symptoms of bowel cancer. Our medical negligence solicitors are here to advocate for patients that have experienced delays, or a missed diagnosis of bowel cancer, that has led to unnecessary suffering or even the death of a loved one.

Bowel cancer affects people of all ages, genders, ethnicity, and demographics. However, those over 50 are more susceptible. The risk of developing bowel cancer can be higher for those who have a family history of the cancer. This is particularly the case if you have a first degree relative such as a parent, sibling or child who has been diagnosed. Therefore, if you have had anyone in your family that has had or has bowel cancer, it’s important to inform your GP. Your GP may offer a bowel screening, or a colonoscopy, to reduce or manage the risk.

If you are concerned or are experiencing any symptoms, you should contact your GP straight away. You can even ask for a test to do at home. This Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a home test. The test looks for small amount of blood in your poo, and can help the GP decide whether to refer you for further tests. Additionally, the test can detect cancer at a very early stage, before symptoms develop. This can make a large difference in your diagnosis and treatment.

What are the Signs of Bowel Cancer?

Some of the common symptoms of bowel cancer are:

  • Bleeding from your back passage or blood in your poo.
  • Changes in your bowel habits.
  • A lump felt by your doctor in your back passage or abdomen, commonly on the right side.
  • Feeling the need to strain, even after opening your bowels.
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Pain in your back passage or abdomen.
  • Tiredness and breathlessness caused by a lower level of blood cells (anaemia).

Although symptoms can differ person to person, it is important to take note of any changes away from your norm. If something does not feel right, it’s important to visit your GP.

Support and Guidance

Being diagnosed with bowel cancer can be overwhelming. It’s important to talk about the feelings and concerns that come with being diagnosed. Often speaking to family, friends, or specialists such as your cancer care nurse or GP can be helpful. Furthermore, you may benefit from a referral to a counsellor or psychologist. Some GP practices have a counselling service as part of their support team.

Below is the contact number to some organisations who can offer support, guidance, and assistance:

Bowel Cancer UK– helpline 020 7940 1760

Guts UK020 7486 0341

Macmillan Cancer Support – 0808 808 00 00

The Importance of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

With bowel cancer being much easier to treat when caught early, it’s important to educate people in knowing what signs to look out for.

We understand that discussing your bathroom habits might feel uncomfortable or awkward. However, please rest assured that your GP is accustomed to these conversations and will handle them with empathy. Even if it turns out to be nothing serious, it’s wise to act on the side of caution. Always trust your gut!

How AWH Solicitors Can Help

If you or a loved one has experienced delays, or had a missed diagnosis of bowel cancer, impacting your life, it’s vital to seek legal advice. Although, starting a claim might seem overwhelming, our compassionate medical negligence claims can help you access compensation for pain, suffering, loss of income and funding for medical care and rehabilitation.

You can find out more information on:

And, if you wish to speak to a member of our medical negligence team, please do not hesitate to reach out by contacting us here or call us on 0800 999 2220.

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