Why? Changes in lifestyle and diet especially red meat and processed meats have been confirmed as one contributory factor and up to 30% of cases have some genetic factors.
But because both patients and doctors make an assumption that “ it can’t be cancer” in young adults, these cases are often diagnosed late, presenting with cancer which has already spread .
This is such a big issue that there is now an international campaign entitled “ Never Too Young” to highlight the changing pattern of this disease.
So what does this mean for you? If you have a change in bowel habit, especially more frequent or looser stools, and/or rectal bleeding then you should expect your doctor to undertake a blood test as a minimum. If you are given a new diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome then you should expect to have been thoroughly examined, have a stool test called faecal calprotectin and blood tests including those looking for inflammation and coeliac disease.
Within FACEmed, the Private GP Service offers a variety of screening procedures and assessments. If you have concerns about your digestive system or questions about the possibility of bowel cancer please make an appointment with us.
Dr Jo Josson McConnell