Monday 22 April 2013

Study finds no constipation, colon cancer link

Long-term constipation doesn't raise risk for colon and rectal cancers according to a new analysis of the existing evidence.

Past studies had suggested a possible connection, but researchers said those results may have been skewed by poor study designs.
"Someone who's got chronic constipation is unlikely to be associated with colon cancer now or in the future," said study author Dr. Alexander Ford, senior lecturer at the St. James's University Hospital's Leeds Gastroenterology Institute in the UK.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., with an estimated 51,000 Americans dying from it each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Established risk factors for the disease include a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, irritable bowel disease, certain syndromes that cause colon polyps, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heavy drinking, smoking and being over age 50, according to the American Cancer Society.

Questioning GP’s diagnosis saved mother’s life

AS Liz Irwin fell sicker and sicker she didn’t dare question the GP’s diagnosis of her illness.
The Oxfordshire teaching assistant lost two-and-a-half stone as she went back and forth several times with worsening stomach complaints.
After pressing for a different verdict in December 2009 she was hit with news which left her chilled.
She had an aggressive form of bowel cancer and would need a life-saving operation.
Now, five years on and fighting fit, the 33-year old has decided to speak out as she feels her life is finally back together.
The Chalgrove mother-of-two said: “It is seen as something of an old person’s disease and I hope that by speaking out after years of silence I can break that misconception.

Friday 19 April 2013

Good results for bowel cancer testing

“A bowel cancer screening programme in England is on course to cut deaths by a sixth,” the BBC has reported. The story goes on to say, however, that there is concern “that the programme misses tumours in certain parts of the colon”.
This story is based on analysis of the first round of England’s Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, which was introduced in 2006. Screening programmes are designed to test for signs of a disease among people without symptoms. They can often detect diseases early, allowing treatment to be given at a stage when it is more likely to be effective at improving outcomes and lowering the risk of death. The screening programme invites people between the ages of 60 and 69 to participate, by giving them home faeces sampling kits that can be posted to a lab to check for traces of blood. Those who screen positive at this stage are then invited to undergo further diagnostic tests.
To date, the programme has invited about 2 million people to participate, with around half accepting and returning a sample. The results of the analysis suggest that if the early results are maintained, the screening programme will achieve the intended 16% reduction in overall bowel cancerdeaths.

Celebrity chefs team up with Sharpham Park and Bowel Cancer UK

Celebrity chefs have teamed up with Sharpham Park and Bowel Cancer UK to create an online collection of Great British Spelt Recipes.

The recipes will be launched online on April 1 to raise awareness of the importance of a high fibre diet in the prevention of bowel cancer during bowel cancer awareness month (April).

Roger Saul, founder of designer fashion label Mulberry, started growing spelt at his Sharpham Park estate near Glastonbury after his sister was advised by doctors to use the high fibre grain in her diet to help treat her stomach cancer.

Unable to find any on sale in the UK, Mr Saul began spelt farming in 2004. Sharpham Park is now a successful organic spelt business. Its spelt food range is available nationwide and is sold by retailers including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason.

Roger said: “As champions of British spelt, we believe that we have a part to play in communicating the message that a simple high fibre diet can make all the difference to reducing the risk of developing bowel cancer.” Spelt has a high mineral content and is easier to digest than wheat.

The recipes have been donated by 30 famous chefs including as Heston Blumenthal, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tom Aikens, The Fabulous Baker Brothers, Yotam Ottolenghi, Mark Hix, Rachel Green and Sophie Dahl.

Read more: 

Wednesday 17 April 2013

A gene test told Lynne she risked bowel cancer. So she took a drastic decision...

Most of us have found ourselves lying awake at night worrying about cancer, imagining what we’d do if that back pain or headache was something more sinister.

But what if cancer was not a possibility, but practically a certainty? 

That’s the fear Lynne Fisher faced after she discovered she inherited a genetic fault that gave her an 80 per cent chance of bowel cancer.

Celebrities such as Sharon Osbourne and pop star Michelle Heaton are among those who have been found to have the so-called ‘breast cancer genes’ — the faulty BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes — which put them at raised risk of breast and ovarian cancer (these are also linked to prostate cancer).

But less well known is that there’s a gene for bowel cancer, a disease that affects 40,000 people in Britain every year and kills 16,000.

Read more:

Too many people are unaware of the symptoms of bowel cancer

Lent is almost at an end and this means – for me – that I can put chocolate back into my diet – although with a determination to be somewhat more disciplined about how much I eat! There is no doubt that "we are what we eat" and, to this end, Bowel Cancer UK has teamed up with Sharpham Park and launched The Great British Spelt Recipes campaign.
April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and the latest figures from Cancer Research UK show that the number of cases of bowel cancer have risen considerably. In the 1970s, the figure for men diagnosed with bowel cancer was 45 in every 100,000 – now it is 58. For women the figure has risen from 35 to 37. The diet of processed and refined food, so much enjoyed by many people in the UK, has to be one of the causes of the rise in these numbers. Roughage is an essential part of a healthy diet and eating spelt – which the Romans called their "Marching Grain" – as a substitute for wheat, not only reduces the symptoms suffered by those with a wheat intolerance, but also provides B vitamins, iron, zinc, niacin (for lowering cholesterol and lipoprotein levels), riboflavin and has a low Glycaemic Index. The natural fibre in this whole-grain is a hugely important component of a bowel healthy diet.

Monday 15 April 2013

Spa medical expert helps highlight bowel cancer symptoms

A MEDICAL expert in Droitwich Spa is calling on people to recognise the symptoms of bowel cancer.
It is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer claiming a life every 30 minutes, yet bowel cancer spotted early can be successfully treated in over 90 per cent of cases.
As Bowel Cancer Awareness Month starts in April, medical experts throughout the country are calling on people to recognise the symptoms so they are able to act quickly if they spot anything out of the ordinary.
At BMI Droitwich Spa Hospital, consultant colorectal surgeon Simon Radley stressed that early treatment could mean the difference between life and death.
He said: “If you know what is normal you can then act if something out of the ordinary happens.
“A change in your bowel habit that lasts for three weeks or more, blood in your poo are warning signs that need acting upon as soon as possible.”
Figures provided by Cancer Research show that over 93 per cent of people diagnosed with bowel cancer at an early stage survive for at least five years compared with less than seven per cent of those diagnosed at a late stage.

Male bowel cancer on the increase, says Cancer Research UK

Bowel cancer rates among men have increased by more than a quarter in the last 35 years, a report has suggested.
The Cancer Research UK study said this contrasted with a rise of just 6% in the rate for women over the same time.
However, bowel cancer survival rates are improving with half of all patients living for at least 10 years after being diagnosed.
It is not known why there should be such a large difference in the increase in rates between men and women.
Rising rates of bowel cancer may be linked to obesity and diets high in red and processed meat and low in fibre, as well as the increasing age of the population.
The disease is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK after lung cancer.