Bowel problems, though embarrassing and unglamorous, affect an awful lot of people – men and women, young and old, so if you’re visiting this page thinking you’re the only one experiencing distressing or embarrassing symptoms, rest assured you are not.
We understand that people often find it difficult to be open about bowel problems, but we urge everyone to seek help as there are many helpful treatments available.
Some UK facts to digest:
- Bowel cancer is the 2nd most common cancer affecting both men and women. In 2011 there were around 41,600 new cases diagnosed, that’s more than110 people every day.
- 18,400 (44%) of these were women, (56%) 23,200 were men. Bowel cancer is the 3rd most common cancer affecting men after lung and prostate and the 3rd in women after lung and breast.
- 5 year survival rates for bowel cancer have doubled over the last 40 years. Individuals diagnosed now are twice as likely to survive for at least 10 years than in the 1970s.
- Bowel cancer is survivable! If caught early chances of making a full recovery are very good indeed, with about 9 in 10 people beating the disease.
- Around 250,000 individuals are living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Most commonly colitis or Crohn’s disease. These conditions are chronic, often start in late childhood or early adulthood and are currently uncurable.
- Over 100,000 people live with a stoma (an opening in the abdomen through which waste passes). There are around 21,000 procedures annually which result in the formation of a stoma, approximately half of which are permanent.
Some of the most common conditions seen in clinic are outlined below.