This week we are running our online clinic on bladder, bowel and digestive health.
I have had a stressful week, moving house, downsizing here in the UK and hoping soon to semi-retire and move to France. It made me think of my best friend who did a similar thing about ten years ago and was enjoying a dream lifestyle. Unfortunately he died shortly afterwards from bowel cancer. He had a family history of the condition and I had encouraged him to be screened but he failed to do so.
I also have three close friends and colleagues , who have recently had radical prostatectomies for prostate cancer. One was diagnosed on routine screening, one had some mild bladder symptoms and the third was luckily picked up when he presented with some blood in his semen.
Most bladder and bowel symptoms are not cancer and can usually be helped or completely cured. Cancers of the bladder, bowel, and prostate, often have little in the way of symptoms until they are quite advanced.
Anyone with unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite and pain in the abdomen or bladder, back or pelvis should seek medical help. There are common causes of blood in the urine, stools, or semen, but anyone noticing blood should definitely see their GP.
Similarly if you experience any persistent change in bowel habit, either diarrhoea or constipation, or urinary symptoms, either going more often or having difficulty passing urine, you should seek advice.
I am looking forward to participating in this weeks clinic.