Over 2,700 people diagnosed with bowel cancer in Ireland every year
Over 2,700 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in Ireland every year.
This makes the disease the fourth most common form of cancer in Ireland, and second most common cause of cancer death.
If found and treated early, however, patients with bowel cancer have a considerably higher chance of survival.
April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month, so in order to raise awareness of the disease, the Beacon Hospital is encouraging the public to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and to consider the importance of early screening and detection.
The most common symptoms include:
- Blood in faeces or bleeding from the back passage
- A lasting change (more than a month) in normal bowel motion, such as diarrhoea or constipation
Other symptoms can include:
- Feeling that you have not emptied your bowel fully after a motion
- Pain or discomfort in the abdomen or back passage
- Trapped wind or fullness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Ongoing general tiredness or weakness
Although many of the above symptoms can be attributed to other conditions, the Beacon has reiterated the importance of being health aware and getting potentially worrying signs checked out as soon as possible.
The introduction of robotic colorectal cancer operations has made the treatment of bowel cancer a lot more successful, with the Beacon having carried out 100 of the major operations in recent years.
Diarmuid Ó Ríordáin, head of colorectal surgery at Beacon said:
“It’s important that anyone suffering from symptoms associated with bowel cancer or bowel problems gets them assessed as we know that if bowel cancer is found early, there is a better chance of that it can be successfully treated.
"For people who need to be treated, we offer robotic colorectal surgery at Beacon Hospital, which involves the use of the latest technology and techniques. It leads to better outcomes and faster recovery for patients. For surgeons it allows for better visibility, better dexterity and more precise surgery.”
One in four deaths in Ireland is caused by cancer, making it the most common form of death.
It is estimated that by 2020, one in two people will develop cancer over the course of their lifetime.
You can find out more about bowel cancer here.