Colorectal disease

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released new guidelines on the detection of Colorectal cancer. Currently, unlike the UK, the age patients start colorectal cancer screening is 50 in the States. However, the new guidelines advise lowering the age limit to 45.

Like any serious illness, the earlier it is detected, the better the chances are of beating Colorectal cancer. However, it isn’t the only condition that you need to watch out for.

Colorectal disease relates to several potentially serious conditions. Here, we’ll look at why early screening is important when Colorectal disease is suspected, alongside the current treatment options available.

What is Colorectal disease?

Colorectal diseases affect the large intestine. They include a vast range of conditions including:

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Colon Polyps
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Colon cancer

These are just a small number of Colorectal diseases and conditions you can develop. While some are certainly more serious than others, early detection is important for all Colorectal diseases. In Colon cancer cases, early detection could make the difference between life and death.

The earlier Colon cancer is detected, the sooner treatment can start. Catching any form of cancer early greatly improves prognosis. The question is, what symptoms should you be looking out for?

Symptoms to watch out for

If you want to detect Colon cancer early, there are a few notable symptoms to keep a lookout for.

Bleeding from the bottom is one of the most common signs of colon cancer. However, it can also link to other, less serious conditions. If the blood is dark red or black, it means it has come from the stomach or bowels. If it is a lighter red, it typically indicates piles or haemorrhoids. Any sign of bleeding from the bottom should be investigated, if only to rule out Colon cancer.

If you experience any change within your bowel habits which last longer than 3 weeks, it could also be a sign of cancer. You may experience chronic diarrhoea or constipation. If a change in toilet habits is also accompanied by blood in the stools, you should seek a diagnosis from the doctor.

Other symptoms to watch out for include feeling constantly tired, unexplained weight loss, and the development of a painful hard lump.

Diagnosis and treatment options

To diagnose a Colorectal condition, surgeons at the Alan Woodward Surgical Group will use a range of tests. A colonoscopy is one of the most effective ways to diagnose a condition. It uses a small camera to investigate the rectum and colon internally. Alternatively, a CT Colonography may be carried out instead.

If Colorectal disease is detected, several treatment options may be offered. An Endoscopic Mucosal Resection or bowel resection are the most common treatments available. These help to remove cancerous tissue, alongside any diseased parts of the bowel and colon.

If you suspect you may have Colorectal disease, it is important to seek early diagnosis. Book an appointment at the Alan Woodward Surgical Group to help put your mind at ease by calling 03000 204 734.

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