The issue of colon cancer has been in the news in recent weeks. The senior BBC correspondent Jeremy Bowen announced that he was undergoing treatment for colon cancer, having sought a colonoscopy after developing unusual symptoms in his legs (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47771752).
He explained that he wished to discuss his illness as a means to encourage others to undergo colonoscopy to ensure early detection. Colon cancer is diagnosed in more than 40,000 people in the UK each year, and despite significant advances in treatment remains the second biggest cancer killer.
The success of treatment depends very significantly on the stage at which the cancer is caught, and the best way of doing this is with a colonoscopy which both allows a very safe and accurate assessment of the lining of the bowel, and the removal of small benign growths (polyps) which if left may go on to become cancerous.
In an interview for ITN, shown on Channel 5 News, Dr George Webster Vice President of the British Society of Gastroenterology and Consultant Gastroenterologist at The Physicians’ Clinic, emphasised the vital role of colonoscopy and the need for greater access and availability of this test. Symptoms that should always lead to consideration of colonoscopy include a change in bowel habit, blood in the stool or unexplained abdominal pain. However the very best chance of treatment comes from identify the problem before symptoms develop, through the use of screening. This should be considered from approximately 50 years onwards and colonoscopy remains the central component of a screening program.
The gastroenterologists at The Physicians’ Clinic are extremely experienced in providing the highest level of safe and effective colonoscopy and would be delighted to arrange necessary consultations to discuss the appropriate investigation of individual patients.