Bowel Health Check
Every 15 minutes, someone in England and Wales is diagnosed with bowel cancer making it the third most common cancer in the UK. But, it’s highly treatable when detected in the early stages which is why it’s so important that people are diagnosed as soon as possible.
Am I suitable for a bowel health check?
If you are over 50 years or have any of the following symptoms, then you may wish to consider a bowel cancer screen:
- A change in your normal bowel habit lasting four weeks or more
- Rectal bleeding
- Extreme tiredness without obvious cause
- A pain and/or lump in your abdomen.
These symptoms, whilst worrying, are common in both men and women at all times of life and usually turn out not to be caused by bowel cancer. The vast majority of patients will have more irritating, ‘minor’ conditions instead which can be easily treated by a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon.
Key features of a bowel health check
- A consultation and examination with a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon.
- A choice of screening tests.
- An opportunity to talk through any questions or concerns.
- Fast test results.
- A personalised health report and practical action plan to keep.
- Onward referral and rapid-access to consultants and specialists, if necessary.
Two different screening tests are available at The Holly Private Hospital to determine your individual risk of bowel cancer. The first involves a simple faecal blood test which you can complete yourself at home. Your sample will be sent to the laboratory for processing and works by detecting tiny amounts of blood in bowel motions which may not always be visibly obvious. The test itself does not diagnose bowel cancer, but the results will indicate whether further investigation by a consultant is needed. This test can only identify your current risk of bowel cancer and should be carried out every two years.
Alternatively, The Holly Private Hospital is one of a few hospitals to have introduced a revolutionary once-only screen which will determine your lifetime risk of bowel cancer. This screen involves a minimally invasive procedure known as flexible sigmoidoscopy whereby a small, flexible tube with a minute video camera on is passed through the mouth and into the intestine to inspect the sigmoid colon (the lower part of the colon that empties into the rectum).
You will have a consultation with a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon who will perform your chosen screening test and/or discuss the results with you.