Colorectal/bowel cancer

Colorectal cancer affects the large bowel, which is made up of the colon and rectum.

Screening can help diagnose colorectal cancer as early as possible, and in some cases detect cancer before you start to display symptoms. Early detection means treatment is likely to be more effective.

Types of colorectal cancer

Bowel cancer

This is a type of cancer that affects the large bowel and can develop from pre-cancerous growths called polyps.

Anal cancer

Anal cancer is a rare type of cancer affecting the opening at the very end of the large bowel.

Facing colorectal cancer together

  • What are the symptoms of colorectal/bowel cancer?  icon plus

    Common colorectal cancer symptoms can include:

    • bleeding from your rectum and/or blood in your stool
    • a change in bowel habit lasting three weeks or more
    • unexplained weight loss
    • pain or abdominal cramps
  • Screening and diagnosis icon plus

    If you notice one or more of the above symptoms, or have a family history of colorectal cancer we can provide you with an initial screen or further diagnostic tests such as:

    If colorectal cancer is diagnosed, we will provide personalised cancer care with rapid access to the latest technology and treatments. For patients wanting to explore a second opinion we offer access to leading consultants in all areas of cancer specialties.

  • What treatment is available for colorectal/bowel cancer? icon plus

    We work together to create the right treatment for you. We discuss options such as:

    • colorectal surgery
    • chemotherapy
    • radiotherapy
    • clinical trials
    • immunotherapy
    • other types of anti-cancer therapies
  • Supportive care for people diagnosed with cancer icon plus

    Your physical and emotional wellbeing is important to us. We provide a range of supportive therapies designed to help prevent, alleviate or manage the effects of colorectal cancer and the treatments we provide.

    These include:

    • complementary therapies such as massage and reiki
    • dietetic support
    • symptom control
    • physiotherapy
    • psychological support for you and your family
  • Living with and beyond cancer icon plus

    We know that after cancer treatment, you may need help getting back to normal life, so we offer expert advice and support. We run dedicated programmes focused on physical, psychological and practical concerns that may arise from a diagnosis of cancer and associated treatment.

Our colorectal and bowel cancer consultants

From state-of-the art equipment and facilities to leading drug development and treatment options, we treat every person diagnosed with cancer individually.

We also offer a full range of professional holistic services for those living with and beyond cancer.

Episode 9 - Getting to know your bowels

If you want a good healthy bowel, you need to have a good healthy diet. What goes in comes out. It's as easy and as basic as that.
Mr Daren Francis

Consultant Colorectal Surgeon


Talking openly about our poo isn’t always likely to result in the most mature of discussions among friends and family members. However, toilet humour aside, letting loose about our bowel movements is nothing to be ashamed of, particularly as 40 per cent of the population have at least one digestive symptom at any one time.

As Anna finds out from Colin and Daren, while common conditions such as constipation and IBS provide rather different lavatory experiences, simple lifestyle and dietary changes can greatly improve the motion of our stools – not to mention reduce the risk of bowel cancer by up to 50 per cent. Bran for breakfast has never sounded more appealing!

Listen now

Our locations

From complex colorectal surgery to diagnostic tests, scans and procedures, we provide exceptional cancer care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Contact our experienced cancer team

Any questions about our cancer services or treatment? We're happy to advise you or help you book an appointment with a cancer specialist consultant.

Call us on 

020 3553 9477
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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