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Misdiagnosis of Bowel Cancer this Awareness Month

View profile for Nick O'Neill
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April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Bowel Cancer UK is calling for people to spot the symptoms early, to have the best chance for successful treatment.

What is Bowel Cancer?

Bowel cancer, sometimes referred to as colon cancer, rectal cancer or colorectal cancer, is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK. According to The World Cancer Research Fund, bowel cancer was the 4th most common type of cancer diagnosed in the UK in 2019, with over 42,000 cases being diagnosed.


The earlier bowel cancer is spotted, the more treatable it’s likely to be. In fact, according to Bowel Cancer UK, more than 9 in 10 people survive bowel cancer when it is diagnosed at the earliest stage. There are numerous symptoms to spot and each symptom is a cause for concern, so you should seek medical advice if you experience any of the symptoms below:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in your stool
  • An unexplained change in stool habits (this could include diarrhoea and constipation)
  • Frequent abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lethargy and extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A noticeable lump in your abdomen
  • Your bowels still feeling full after using the toilet

Of course, these symptoms are most often a sign of less serious conditions, but it is always best to be cautious and to talk to your GP if you have concerns.

Some common illnesses that are often diagnosed instead of bowel and colon cancer are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Importance of Early Treatment

Given the various symptoms and NHS pressures, mistakes can happen. Researchers found the UK diagnosed more than a quarter (29.7%) of its bowel cancer cases much later, at stage 4 - compared to 21.1% in Australia, 21.9% in Canada and 26.5% in Denmark. If you don't get the treatment you need quickly enough, it can potentially result in the cancer spreading to other areas of your body.

Contact About Concerns

If you have been affected by negligent treatment for bowel cancer which has led to your condition worsening, contacting a trusted Solicitor will help you gain the information you need and guide you when taking the appropriate action to gain compensation.

At JCP Solicitors, we understand that receiving a diagnosis of bowel cancer is an incredibly anxious and challenging time. That’s why we’re committed to doing everything we can to support you and your family during your compensation process.

For advice and guidance, contact Nick O’Neill, Director in the Medical Negligence team at JCP Solicitors, on 03333 209644 or email Nick.O'