Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands - (Page 38)
COLORECTAL – LOWER DIGESTIVE TRACT
Disorders of the colon, rectum and anus are more common than you think
can be caused by a change in lifestyle, diet or
stress, and usually go away without treatment.
However, it is also possible for people to
develop symptoms that point to a more serious
colorectal disorder – a condition of the colon or
rectum, which together form the lower digestive
tract. We look at two common problems.
Your GP has seen it
all before… don’t be
e all experience
from time to time
diarrhoea or wind
are common. They
known as piles, and around half of us will
suffer from them at some time. Bleeding is
an indicator of piles, as is a mucous discharge.
These are swellings on the inside of the anal
canal in areas known as the anal ‘cushions’.
These help seal the anus and control bowel
movements. Sometimes, however, the
cushions swell up, become displaced and slide
out of the anus. This condition is commonly
The facts and
stats of conditions
in the UK
WHAT CAUSES IT? The exact cause isn’t
known, although haemorrhoids are said to
be caused by the same factors that make our
blood vessels swell, which includes anything
that increases pressure inside the abdomen.
TREATMENT Over-the-counter treatments
can relieve symptoms, but won’t cure piles.
Creams, ointments and suppositories can ease
pain and itching and products containing
corticosteroids can lessen inflammation and
pain. If these treatments don’t work, it may be
necessary to have them surgically removed.
This is known as a haemorrhoidectomy.
038 Dr Hilary Jones’ Healthcare guide – West Midlands
cancer, compared with
5% of women. Around
85% of the patients
diagnosed with bowel
cancer are over 60.
cases of bowel cancer
in the UK. New studies
estimate that this figure
could increase to around
35,000 by 2040.
system – which includes the colon or rectum.
Approximately 80% of these cancers occur
in the colon and 20% in the rectum. The
symptoms of bowel cancer are blood or mucus
in the stools, changes in bowel movements,
abdominal pain and unexplained loss of weight.
However, if it is diagnosed early enough, bowel
cancer can frequently be cured.
Also known as bowel cancer, this refers to
cancers of the last section of the digestive
WHAT CAUSES IT? The exact cause is
unknown, but the risks increase with age – 85%
of people diagnosed with the condition are over
60. Genetics also play a part. Some evidence
suggests that a diet high in meat and fat, but
low in fibre, increases risk due to the irregular
bowel movements produced by such a diet.
TREATMENT Surgery is the most common
treatment for bowel cancer. It involves removing
malignant tumours and lymph nodes (glands)
that are close by, as the cancer may well have
spread to them. Keyhole surgery is now a
popular method as it has a fairly quick recovery.
population suffer from
piles. There is no exact
figure as many people
are too embarrassed
to visit their GP…
of the UK
people will get an anal
fistula. Among those with
Crohn’s disease or HIV,
the incidence rate is up
to three in 10 people. n
WORDS: Puneet Chahal| PHOTOGRAPH: Getty Images
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands
A HEALTHY HELLO FROM DR HILARY
NEWS AND VIEWS
THE BIG INTERVIEW
A WEIGHTY ISSUE
FITNESS FOR FREE
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
DR HILARY'S WELCOME
MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION
CHOOSING THE BEST
EARS, NOSE AND THROAT
OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY
Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands