Don’t dismiss subtle symptoms of bowel problems

  • Posted

Posted 05/03/2015

Rosaline Wong 1397335781_RosalineWong2.jpg

A 32 year old pregnant woman who experienced agonising abdominal pain and thought she was going into labour was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She had an emergency caesarean section six weeks early and is about to start chemotherapy as the cancer had spread to her liver.  A year ago she had also been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Rosaline Wong, a clinical negligence lawyer at Ashtons Legal, comments: “Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer affecting both men and women. Over 90% of those who are diagnosed at the earliest stage are treated successfully.

The good news is that bowel cancer is survivable. Those who are diagnosed early have chances of making a full recovery as five year survival rates for bowel cancer have doubled over the last 40 years. Although bowel cancer is found predominantly in people over 50 years old, younger individuals as young as Stephen Sutton, a teenager who died from bowel cancer, can be affected too.

Over the years I have represented many clients whose cancer had been missed. The delay in diagnosing bowel cancer can be caused by: failing to recognise warning signs of pain and passing blood; doctors wrongly dismissing symptoms as caused by haemorrhoids or IBS, failing to carry out adequate examination or failing to refer for specialist opinions. Some clients were wrongly given the all clear because their tissue samples were wrongly interpreted and some had not been investigated quickly because of staff or equipment shortages. The delay in picking up early signs of cancer can cause life changing consequences for the patient and their families. Some of my clients can never work again and the quality of their life has been seriously compromised because cancer had spread to other organs.”

Rosaline urges individuals with bowel symptoms to seek help as diagnosing cancer at its earliest stages will give them the best chance of survival. So making a trip to your doctor could save life.


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