One in three of us will develop cancer during our lifetime. Cancer of the bowel or colon affects 6% of the population, usually as people get older. Colonoscopy can make an early diagnosis and is a sensible investigation once people develop bowel symptoms or blood in the faeces particularly over the age of 50 years, however “benign” the symptoms may appear. Making an early diagnosis of cancer of the food pipe or oesophagus, stomach and pancreas is more difficult, but if new symptoms arise which are unusual it is straightforward to be checked over by a Gastroenterologist by means of endoscopy or Gastroscopy. Once a malignant growth or cancer has been diagnosed by any of these procedures, the extent of the disease should be determined by a scan. A sample of the cancer or biopsy should be taken to help guide the best course of treatment, be it surgery, drug treatment (chemotherapy) or radiotherapy. Sometimes a combination of treatments is recommended. Your Gastroenterologist should be part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) of specialists, often as part of a Cancer Network, to help make the best decision of what is appropriate for the individual patient. The following information sheets give more details on cancers affecting various sites in the gut and abdomen. - Designed by Oldroyd Publishing Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved