What is Bowel Cancer?

Bowel cancer affects the large bowel, which is made up of the colon and rectum. It develops from pre-cancerous growths, called polyps. However, not all polyps develop into cancer.

How common is bowel cancer?

Bowel Cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK. There are 268,000 people in the UK who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Those affected are predominantly in men. Almost 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK.  It more commonly affects people over the age of 50. It can affect anyone of any age but with more than 2,500 new cases occurring in people under age 50. Through earlier diagnosis bowel cancer is treatable.

Risk Factors

There are a number of risk factors that can increase your chance of having bowel cancer, which are:

  • Aged over 50
  • Family history of bowel cancer
  • History of non-cancerous growths (polyps) in your bowel
  • Longstanding inflammatory bowel disease e.g. Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative colitis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • An unhealthy lifestyle


To spot the signs of bowel cancer, it is essential to be aware of the following:    

  • Rectal bleeding and/ or blood in your stools (dark red or black blood may come from your bowel or stomach)
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort
  • A feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely

Osteopathy and Cancer?[2]

There is no evidence to suggest that osteopathy will help treat or cure cancer. But some people who use osteopathy say it can help to control pain and tension. They also say that it helps them to relax, which improves their overall feeling of health and well being.

For more information about our services contact us at Backstobasics Osteopathy on 01923 710424.

This is why we aim to be the best Osteopaths in Hertfordshire. 

by Anita Singadia, Osteopath & Sports Massage Therapist

[1] https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/bowel-cancer/

[2] https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/osteopathy