This March, Mediclinic is providing awareness and free kits for bowel cancer
9 March 2020| Last updated on 10 March 2020
Did you know? Bowel cancer is a common type of cancer in both men and women - and one in 20 people will get it during their lifetime.
Bowel cancer screening can help detect bowel cancer at an early stage when it's easier to treat. The aim is to help check for and remove small growths in the bowel called polyps, which can turn into cancer over time.
Polyps may be small and produce few or no symptoms at all. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying these polyps earlier and to prevent them from turning cancerous.
There are two types of methods to test and screen for bowel cancer:
- FIT or FOB stool test - this is generally a simple test, where a kit is used to collect small samples of your stool so they can be checked for tiny amounts of blood (which could be caused by cancer). This is a two-step process. If these tests find anything unusual, you will be asked to have further tests (such as a colonoscopy) to confirm or rule out cancer. This is the commonest start point for screening.
- Colonoscopy - a test where a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end is used to look for and remove any polyps inside your bowel. This is a day case procedure.
Different countries have different start ages for bowel cancer screening. For example, Japan starts at the age of 40, while the UK starts at the age of 50. This is related to the ability of healthcare systems to provide this service and the patient demographic of the population.
It is important to note that despite the usefulness of the FIT testing kit as a screening tool, no test available is 100% sensitive.
Patients with a family history of colon cancer or gastrointestinal symptoms may also be asked to perform tests at an earlier age depending on details since they are likely to fall into a higher risk category than the general population.
Examples of symptoms of bowel cancer include rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, weight loss and abdominal pain. Addressing this is normally done on a case by case basis since alternative diagnoses can also be involved and a consultation with a gastroenterologist is recommended with this group to help with further guidance to tailor investigations.
During March, selected Mediclinic Units in Dubai are offering free colorectal screening kits. To read more, click here.
- mediclinic city hospital