What is Bowel Cancer?
The bowel is part of the digestive system and is located in the lower part. It is divided into the small bowel or small intestine and the large bowel which is also known as the colon and the rectum.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms of bowel cancer are:
The above symptoms do not mean that a patient has bowel cancer as often there are other reasons for these symptoms. It just means that other conditions need to be eliminated before a diagnosis may be made.
As with many cancers, the exact reason as to why a patient gets bowel cancer is not exactly known. There are some factors which may increase the risk of contracting it:
People who have any of the above diseases are already in a high-risk group and can be given regular checks and aspiring to limit the risk. Aspirin and Celecoxib have been shown to decrease the risk of cancer in these groups.
Changes can be made to a lifestyle to try to reduce the risk of bowel cancer such as introducing a high fibre diet with increased fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Take more regular exercise, stop smoking and limit alcohol.
The first stage in any diagnosis is to seek medical advice with your GP if you have had these symptoms for longer than four week.
Your doctor will carry out an examination of your tummy and bottom area to check if there are obvious lumps.
A blood test may be taken if there is any bleeding.
Referral to the local hospital for further tests. These tests could include:
The NHS offers two different types of bowel cancer screenings, offered people from 60 to 74 years old:
Both screening options limits and reduces the chance of bowel cancer and allows for treatment a lot earlier.
Variations of Bowel Cancer
There are certain kinds of Bowel Cancer and others in the associated areas:
Treatment will depend on the part of the bowel and how progressed the cancer is. Symptoms can be controlled and the cancer slowed. A cure is possible but not in every situation.
Various treatments can be used, such as:-
Treatment will be from a variety of different medical professionals, such as:
If the cancer is still localised, it may be possible to remove a piece of the colon wall. If the cancer has spread, the whole colon may need to be removed by way of a colectomy. There are three different ways that a colectomy can be performed:
There are various types of operations that can be carried out, which will depend on how far the cancer has spread:
Total mesenteric excision – if a larger area of the rectum needs to be removed from around the bowel then this treatment would be used. When the cancer is located would depend on the TME operation carried out:
If part of the bowel has to be taken away the surgeon may have to redirect the faces away to allow the areas to heal. This is called a stoma and a bag is worn to protect the bowel and collect the faces. There are two kinds of stoma:
A nurse will assist with showing a patient how to care for the stoma and to how to empty and attach it. In some cases the stoma can be removed once healing has occurred. Other times it may be permanent.
These include monoclonal antibodies such as cetuximab and panitumumab which attack proteins on cancer cells.
There are three ways to treat bowel cancer:
It usually involves taking either a tablet or a drip of chemicals or both. Courses are usually 2-3 weeks long but can last up to 6 months.
There are several ways that radiotherapy can be used to treat bowel cancer:
Radiotherapy can be administered in two ways:
Some of the treatments, especially chemotherapy, can give rise to a whole host of side effects, including:
How do I make a claim?
If you or a family member has been affected by bowel cancer, speak to one of our specialist team today. There are a number of types of claims that can be brought about as a result of bowel cancer. However, these are generally categorised into three fields:
If you feel that you have been affected as a result of any of the above then could be entitled to compensation. The team at Oakwood Solicitors will be able to give you free advice on the prospects of your case and whether you would be eligible to make a claim.
You have three years from the misdiagnosis to pursue a case, so do not delay.
Who can bring about a claim?
The affected patient can bring about a claim within three years of the date the diagnosis was made.
However, as is often the case – particularly with delays in diagnosing cancer – the patient has sadly passed away due to their condition. If the patient is deceased, then the executors of the estate have three years from the date of death to bring about an action.
How long will my case take to run?
Clinical Negligence cases can take over eighteen months to run, as we have to obtain copies of your GP and medical records before obtaining a report from an independent medical professional. We will provide you with regular updates on the progress of your case to ensure that you are kept up to speed.
How much is my claim worth?
Numerous cases involving bowel cancer have been settled over the years, and the amount of compensation varies.
One case surrounding a significant delay in diagnosis of the disease, which resulted in extensive surgery and chemotherapy (and unfortunately to the ultimate demise of the patient) resulted in compensation to the amount of £107,087.78.
A further case whereby the patient underwent extended right hemicolectomy, which resulted in an ileostomy and loss of anal function achieved £4,353,474.32 in compensation.
Every case is different, and the amount of compensation awarded is very case-specific. Here at Oakwood Solicitors, we will pursue a claim for both general and special damages on your behalf.
Rest assured that our specialist team has the experience and the tenacity to achieve the highest possible award for you.
Why use Oakwood Solicitors?
We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running cases of this nature. They are highly trained to deal with all aspects of clinical negligence.
We want to ensure that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon or medical terms they don’t understand, and to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.
How is my case funded?
The majority of Clinical Negligence cases are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a ‘no-win, no fee’ agreement. This means that there will be nothing to pay up front and nothing to pay if the claim has been lost. If you are successful in your claim, a deduction of 25% of damages will be taken to cover the success fee and the shortfall in legal fees.
It may also be the case that an After The Event (ATE) insurance policy will be obtained to cover the costs of expensive medical reports and investigations. If an ATE insurance policy has to be obtained the cost of the same will be discussed with you at the appropriate point. The cost of the ATE insurance policy is again taken from your damages and only payable if you are successful with your claim.
Famous people who had/have Bowel cancer:
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