Bowel Cancer Treatment in London

Bowel cancer can affect anyone at any age, but what symptoms should you watch out for? Here, Dr Natalie Direkze, Consultant Gastroenterologist at OneWelbeck Digestive Health in London, provides the answers you need…

Photo: Getty Images

“Anyone can get screened for bowel cancer and early diagnosis is best because it can lead to more effective treatment and care,” says Natalie. “There is no need to feel shy or embarrassed. It’s a really important decision, which could potentially save lives.

Below, Natalie answers some frequently asked questions and shares what can be done to prevent, diagnose and treat bowel cancer.

Q: What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

A: It is important to “know your usual routine”. Everyone’s bowel movements are different, so you should only compare yours to your regular routine and no one else’s. Some things to check are:

  • A change in bowel habit – This should be a constant change over time, where the shape of your stool changes to something looser, or you notice that you need to go to the bathroom more often than usual.
  • Blood in your stool – Whatever its cause, it is always advisable to have it checked if it persists. The bleeding can also occur higher up in the intestine and you may not notice it. This can cause anaemia, fatigue and shorter breathing during activity so if you experience any of these symptoms for more than a few weeks it is best to see your GP and get tested blood.
  • Abdominal pain – Persistent abdominal pain and bloating, brought on by diet, could be a sign of bowel cancer as it develops. It is best to seek advice if these symptoms persist.

Q: How can I prevent bowel cancer?

A: Although no one can be guaranteed to avoid bowel cancer in their lifetime, especially if it is present in the family history, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk:

  • Avoid a highly processed or red meat diet.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption.
  • Exercise at least three times a week.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and BMI.

Q: What is bowel cancer?

A: It is a general term used to describe the growth of cancer cells in the intestines. It may also be called rectal or colon cancer.

Intestinal lining cells continually replace themselves to maintain a healthy gut. However, sometimes a mutation in our genes or a mistake in the body can cause the lining cells to overgrow and turn into warty growths. These growths are called polyps, which, if left untreated, can become cancerous.

Because of the area of ​​the body in question, many people often avoid seeing a doctor out of embarrassment. However, it is extremely important to get screened for bowel cancer if you notice any symptoms.

Early diagnosis can allow us to catch the disease in its early stages, preventing it from getting worse and increasing the chances of successful treatment.

We’ll be there every step of the way to provide support and comfort – there’s no need to be afraid.

Q: How do I know if I have bowel cancer?

A: We offer a unique service with fast availability of colonoscopy appointments for cancer screening, for people with or without symptoms. Patients will need their medical history before the procedure, as well as bowel preparation the day before the colonoscopy.

Q: What is a colonoscopy and how can it help treat bowel cancer?

A: A colonoscopy can detect and diagnose bowel or colon cancer in a single procedure. It may also help prevent colon cancer. The procedure provides a detailed view of the colon via a camera through the rectum, where precancerous polyps can be detected and removed.

Not all polyps are cancerous and this will be determined during the process. People often believe that the procedure is uncomfortable and can hurt. We offer sedation that helps you relax and relieve any discomfort. You can decide if you prefer to be awake or asleep during the procedure.

Once removed, the polyps will be sent to the lab to determine if they are cancerous or benign. We can then advise you if further treatment will be needed, or recommend that you come back for a check-up in a few years to make sure everything is fine. Our specialists will discuss your results and inform you of the next steps to take. You can discuss other treatment options at the center.

The center is a Covid-free environment, with a private bedroom, cubicle and washroom to ensure privacy and maximum comfort throughout.

For more information or to book a consultation, visit

Contact [email protected] or 020 3327 7308.

Leave a Comment