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Bowel cancer – finding the right support in York and Scarborough

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, with around 42,000 people diagnosed each year. While 94 per cent of cases are diagnosed in those aged 50 and above, it’s important to remember that bowel cancer can affect anyone.

This is part of the reason that the UK offers free bowel cancer screening as one of three nationwide schemes (in additional to cervical and breast). Cancer of the bowel is the second biggest cancer killer, but early detection can save lives.

Stages of bowel cancer

If you’re diagnosed, your doctor may run further tests include a CT scan of the chest and abdomen or an MRI scan. This is to ensure that the cancer hasn’t spread.
Similar to breast cancer, bowel cancer is categorised using the TNM system or one of four numerical stages. TNM refers to:

• T: the size of the tumour
• N: spreading to nearby lymph nodes
• M: metastasis (spreading to other organs).

The staging system is numerical or may also be known as Dukes’ A, B, C or D, as below:

Stage 1 - This is when the cancer is contained within the rectum or bowel lining.
95 per cent of men and 100 per cent of women will survive for five years or more.

Stage 2 - By now the cancer has spread beyond the muscle surrounding the bowel. It may have entered the surface covering the bowel, or nearby organs.
Five-year survival rates for men are 80 per cent, and 90 per cent for women.

Stage 3 - This is when the cancer has spread into nearby lymph nodes.
Almost 65 per cent of men and women will survive for five or more years.

Stage 4 - At this stage, the cancer has spread to another part of the body, such as the liver.
Just over 5 per cent of men will survive five years or more, compared to almost 10 per cent of women. Cancer that has spread to the liver can be removed with surgery, pushing the five-year survival rate to 25 to 40 per cent.

What bowel cancer support is available in York?

York Hospital Cancer Care Centre - offer complementary therapies including massage and reflexology, plus a chaplaincy service and wig support.

The following groups are available in the Yorkshire area, for both bowel cancer and stoma support.

Here when you need us

The support network for bowel cancer patients in York and beyond is ever-growing. While every diagnosis is frightening, early detection could save your life. Please contact us for more information on screening or finding a support service near you.