Bowel Cancer – The signs


Bowel cancer is known by several different names including colo-rectal cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer and other similar-sounding names depending on what exact part of the bowel is affected.

The bowel can include the small intestine (often called the upper bowel, small bowl or Ileum), the large intestine (often called the lower bowel, colon, and includes the sigmoid, rectum, cecum and Ileocaecal junction).  In fact, bowel cancer refers to any cancer found in structures extending from anywhere below the duodenum and small intestine and extending to the anus.

After heart disease, bowel cancer or colo-rectal cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the Western societies.

It can occur with little or no warning sign and what few signs there may have been, are frighteningly easy to ignore.   Some of the early signs to look out for are mucus and blood in the stool; don’t be prissy – peer into the toilet each time you have a bowel movement;  in Germany they make their toilets pans with a little shelf that catches the solid matter and holds it there for inspection prior to flushing it away.

Any signs of weight loss, fatigue or disturbances in the gut and digestion should be reported to your doctor who would be more than happy to find that they were false alarms.  Don’t be shy and don’t think you are a nuisance.

If your symptoms suggest that something needs investigating, a simple colonoscopy done as an out-patient appointment, would take tiny samples of bowel cells and send them to the laboratory for analysis.

Some early signs may be the development of polyps – like little warts on stalks, these can crop up in the bowel lining tissue as benign (harmless) little growths.  These can turn malignant in time, so if they are spotted during a colonoscopy, they are often removed.

The discovery and removal of polyps is a great early warning sign that you need to change your diet and lifestyle to reduce your risks of developing colo-rectal cancer.  Although there is little acknowledged medical literature on the subject of cancer and diet, the alternative and complimentary world abounds with hundreds of anecdotal examples of diet having a beneficial effect on cancer.  If you go to there are many films and documentaries on this subject and how you can reduce your risks.

Cancer of the bowel is often successfully treated if caught early enough as the membranes covering the muscle layer of the bowel can act as temporary containment barriers delaying the cancers from metastasising (spreading), and making successful surgery a frequent option.  Surgery is often followed up with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, but this is the conventional approach.

Doctors in the UK are not able to advise on alternative or natural methods of approach to cancer, so if this is something that interests you, the FMTV channel will have a lot of sources of information.  A good place to start is a film called: “Healing Cancer from the Inside”.

Like most health conditions, it does no harm to support the body with good nutrition and to reduce toxic exposure like drugs, chemicals and pollutants, but in all areas of health, you should seek advice from your primary care giver (Doctor or Physician) before making any serious health or treatment decisions.


For more information on the Taymount Clinic visit or call 01462 712500

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