These signs may reveal the presence of bowel cancer

Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is one of the most common cancers in France. Screening is one way to prevent colorectal cancer.

With 43,336 new cases and 17,117 deaths in 2018, colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in France, as reported by Santé Publique France. In the columns of The Independent, a father decided to tell his story. Just before his 41st birthday, Geoffrey Seymour discovered blood in his stool. Aware of this symptom, he then decided to consult his general practitioner. He then learns that he has stage 4 bowel cancer with metastases in the liver. Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor of the lining (inner lining) of the colon or rectum.

He says he had strong reactions to chemotherapy and noticed the appearance of blisters on the skin of his face. “Essentially, it kills all of your fast-growing cells, which includes your cancer cells, but also your hair and nails. I had a very bad reaction to this on my face“, says Geoffrey. Subsequently, he traveled to Germany for dendritic cell therapy – this is a personalized vaccine created in a laboratory with the aim of stimulating the immune system.

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Abdominal pain, blood in the stool

For a long time, colorectal cancers remain asymptomatic, which complicates the diagnosis. The Cancer Research Foundation lists the suggestive symptoms: abdominal pain linked to contractions of the intestine, intestinal transit disorders, the presence of blood in the stools, a mass perceptible on palpation of the abdomen, anemia, unexplained weight loss, deterioration of the general state of health. Some patients may also experience bleeding from the rectum.

Once the cancer has been diagnosed, a treatment is decided by the doctors in consultation with the patient. The treatment of colorectal cancer is based on surgery and chemotherapy. As Ameli Santé reminds us, quitting smoking reduces the risk of post-operative complications.

Since March 1, 2022, it is now possible for any eligible person to receive a free screening test at home. “If blood is found in the stool during the screening test, a colonoscopy is done. It makes it possible to diagnose colorectal cancer at an early stage, or even to avoid cancer by highlighting polyps or adenomas (…)“, recalls the Minister of Health.

VIDEO – Colorectal cancer: why get screened?

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