Any patients with these high risk symptoms should present to a colorectal surgeon asap.
However, for most people, the development of early colonic lesions has no symptoms, thus screening is now offered in the UK.
Prevention is better than a cure so it makes sense to screen for such an important, deadly and common disease. The method of detecting polyps and early colorectal cancers is not universally agreed though.
Who should we screen? Well Faecal Occult Blood test in over 60's is used in the National Bowel Screening programme and picks up some colorectal lesions, but misses a significant amount. High risk patients should certainly be screened and colonoscopy, if performed safely, is the gold standard test still. For further information, please refer to my publications on Perianal Conditions.
High risk patients include those with a positive family history, and inheritable factors accounted for 35% of the risk of developing colorectal cancer. But some of these are, as yet, not completely understood.
Early rectal cancers and rectal polyps are often best treated by Transanal Endoscopic MicroSurgery (TEMS) which leaves no scars and patients can be discharged within 24 hours.
The following is some footage of me resecting and stitching closed the defect in the rectal wall where the tumour was.
To be added
My guidelines for anal cancer treatment which is a rare tumour which may result from the more common AIN (Anal Intrapithelial Neoplasia) which is a result of a viral infection (HPV) usually in thos with reduced immune systems. [ppAIN.ppt]
I carry out most colorectal resections laparoscopically in addition to using fast track recovery (ERP or Enhanced Recovery Programme) which gives patients food and mobilises them in the 24 hours following surgery. Please click here for my Fast Track Recovery Guide.
Most patients are discharged in less than 6 days following the operation. My personal results from the last 200 abdominal operations (2003 to 2009) for elective colorectal cancer patients are a mortality rate of 0%, with no ureteric injuries, no inadvertent splenic injuries and the only three anastomotic leaks I have had in this time have all improved without the need for further surgery.