National Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
The month of April is dedicated to raising awareness of Bowel Cancer and at a time in our lives when it has recently been revealed that potentially 350,000 patients with suspected cancer have seen delays in being referred to hospital due to the covid crisis; it is vital that people are made aware of this condition, one of the most common forms of cancer an individual can suffer from.
The most common symptoms of bowel cancer are persistent blood on bowel movements, persistent change to your bowel habits or persistent lower abdominal pains usually after eating. As with any form of cancer weight loss is also an indicator and as such if you start to notice you are losing weight unintentionally it is best to keep a diary of your weight and notify your GP as soon as you can. These symptoms have permanent residence in my brain as this condition has afflicted one of my grandparents and one of my parents.
If caught early enough bowel cancer can be amenable to treatment. The difficulties that some people face is that due to a delay the cancer can metastasise (spread elsewhere) making it much more difficult to treat. Having lived through the experience of witnessing family members suffer with bowel cancer I can on occasion find it difficult to work on these cases. That said there is nothing I have found more rewarding than assisting those client’s process both their frustrations and their grief during what can be a trying period.
Since I have commenced work in clinical negligence I have successfully brought a number of delay in bowel cancer cases. This can either be on behalf of a middle aged daughter whose father was taken from her and her grandchildren too soon. Or when I have had the opportunity to help a family who have lost a husband, father and provider recover some financial stability after losing the once main breadwinner within the household. As such the values of these claims can range from £5,000 to over £500,000. It may even give a family piece of mind to simply ask the question if more could have been done.
I have often noticed that age is a factor in determining the level of fault placed at practitioners doors, the younger a patient is the less likely statistically speaking cancer will be. This however is something that can now be combatted, home testing kits can be requested from GP surgeries, simple testing kits to detect blood can be purchased from high street pharmacies which can all be used to assist in the diagnosis of this condition.
Delay in diagnosis of cancer is an exceptionally common case that both myself and my colleagues at Clear Law deal with regularly and if you think that you or a family member has been impacted by a potential delay then please do not hesitate to get in touch.