Bowel cancer is 4th commonest cancer in the UK, approximating 40,000 cases per year. 1 in 14 men and 1 in 19 women are likely to get bowel cancer, commonly seen above the age of 50 years. Although the exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, there are many factors which to some extent are attributable. The factors include poor diet, genetics, colonic polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, previous radiation, being an Ashkenazi jew and strong family history.
Symptoms may vary. Main symptoms include bleeding, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and anaemia. The most worry-some symptoms is blood in stools.
Treatment depends on the staging of the tumour, however frequently involves surgery. Laparoscopic (key hole) surgery is commonly performed now a days and has excellent outcome in terms of early recovery and small incisions.
If diagnosed earlier, it carries a good prognosis with a 5-year survival rate of as high as >90% in Stage 1 tumours (Graph shows more than 90% 5-year survival in stage 1 vs less than 10% in stage 4)