Bowel Cancer

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Bowel Cancer

The bowels are the intestines, consisting of the small intestine (the

section between the stomach and the appendix) and the large intestine

(from the appendix to the anus). The large intestine is divided into

the long colon and a short rectum, just before the anus. Two thirds of

bowel cancers occur in the colon and one third in the rectum, with

very few in the small intestine.

Who is at risk of bowel cancer?


There are about 35,000 new cases each year in the UK. More than 80% of

these are in people over 60. Obesity can increase the risk of cancer

of the colon by up to one third. High alcohol intake is also known to

increase the risk of bowel cancer. However, some common drugs, such as

aspirin-like painkillers and hormone replacement therapy, are known to

reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

· family history of colon cancer or intestinal polyps. Risk is more

than doubled if a close family member such as a parent, sibling or

child has colon cancer.

· A condition known as hereditary nonpolposis colon cancer syndrome is

also genetic.

· Relatives that had an early on set of colon cancer

· Individuals over the age of 50 are at an increased risk

· African-Americans are at a slightly higher risk

· Highest in developed countries such as the United States and Japan

· Slightly higher in men than women

· People with Crohn’s disease

· People with ulcerative colitis

· Diets high in fat and red meat

· Diets low in fiber

· Obesity

· Smokers

· Diabetics

· Excessive alcohol consumption on a daily basis


... middle of paper ...

... nausea and vomiting are common.


This type of cancer therapy is also referred to as biological therapy.

Immunotherapy uses your body’s immune system to reduce the side

effects caused by chemotherapy, radiation and other types of

treatments that may cause damage to cells. This therapy is also used

to combat the cancer itself. If this type of therapy works, it can

repair and increase your body’s immune system.

How effective is the treatment?


If diagnosed early, before the tumour has spread from the bowel, these

treatments are very effective, with about 90% of patients alive five

years after diagnosis. However, if the cancer is advanced at the time

of diagnosis (i.e. it has spread to the lymph nodes) only about half

of the patients survive for five years.
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