Known as the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, bowel cancer exhibits symptoms that are often misinterpreted by many practitioners. This symptom is often treated merely as either irritable bowel syndrome or constipation.

Bowel cancer is now one of the most-feared kinds of cancer that affect people. Many patients have attested that their symptoms were often misdiagnosed, which is why they end up being treated for a different kind of condition.

According to a report in Express, one in 18 women and one in 15 men will be diagnosed with the condition during their lifetime. In the UK, it has taken the lives of 16,000 individuals in just one year. Further breaking down the figures, that’s 44 people in one day.

The statistics are horrifying, such that there is now a strong clamor for proper diagnosis of the condition so that patients will be able to receive the right treatment early on. This is highlighted by healthtalk.org, wherein they were able to pinpoint the symptom that gets misinterpreted by many practitioners.

Bowel cancer often gets delayed treatment because of misdiagnosis of symptoms. Bowel cancer often gets delayed treatment because of misdiagnosis of symptoms. Photo: ArtisticOperations - Pixabay

According to the health site, many patients visit their doctor due to rectal bleeding. Some of them suffer from slight bleeding, but there are cases when they experience heavy bleeding.

Because this symptom is common with other conditions, some patients end up being diagnosed as having irritable bowel syndrome or hemorrhoids. Others get treated for constipation for as long as 15 months before required to take further tests.

Although deemed as unavoidable, patients say that the delay is often a result of their doctors not acknowledging the severity of their symptoms. Aside from rectal bleeding, other bowel cancer symptoms include unexplained weight loss and tiredness, pain in the stomach, and anemia. Patients also feel bloating and the feeling that they were unable to empty their stomachs.

Accordingly, it isn’t always the case that when these symptoms are seen, the only conclusive condition is bowel cancer. There are also times wherein these symptoms mean a less serious condition. The overlapping symptoms make detecting bowel cancer quite difficult in patients and have become a cause for concern with many patients.

The latest estimate in the UK is that early detection of the disease at the early stage, more than nine in ten patients survived. If detected late, nine in ten will die. For patients, it is always the best move to be vigilant about their symptoms and to seek medical attendance at the earliest.