The bowel cancer diagnosis pathway

Bowel cancer podcast: episode 4

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Our panel discuss the diagnostic tests available, the role of the consultant and specialist cancer nurse, and the information and support available at the point of a bowel cancer diagnosis.

Lauren Swankie, National Cancer Campaign Manager


Once you’ve had a colonoscopy, if there’s suspected cancer, you’ll be referred, maybe to have a MRI scan, or a CT scan and you’ll see a consultant who will interpret your results and if in the unlikely event that you are diagnosed, a treatment pathway will be discussed and agreed with you.

Judith BrodieJudith Brodie

It was a tremendous shock. I thought I was doing everything right and keeping fit and healthy, so it was a shock. I had my colonoscopy at the beginning of October 2012, soon after that I had a CT scan, PET scan and MRI scan. I was told it was stage three C cancer and I had half my colon removed in the November, so it was within about four weeks. It was very, very rapid.

Vivianne PowVivianne Pow

At BMI, when the doctor needs to give bad news, we always make sure there is a nurse in the room. It is a lot to take on psychologically.

Stephanie LeleuStephanie Leleu

I was given a lot of information. There’s a booklet for everything.

Vivianne PowVivianne Pow

I think I’ve always been quite a positive person, so I don’t think I’ve actually gone out and hunted for as much support as maybe other people would need. I kind of, almost, took a deep breath in, and went right, ok, this is just a little tester. I think it impacted more on family and friends than me.

Vivianne PowVivianne Pow

The nurse is present at the time of the diagnosis and will support and communicate with the patient throughout their care, explaining the diagnosis and treatment. It’s really important that the patient understands the treatment that they are going to go through and how best to carry on with life as normal as possible.

Stephanie LeleuStephanie Leleu

At BMI Healthcare we have an excellent Macmillan nursing team who are so helpful to patients and families.

Stephanie LeleuStephanie Leleu

It’s about providing quality of care, symptom management, and psychological support. And not just during treatment, you are always under our care. Even if your treatment is finished you can always call us and you will still follow up with your consultant to make sure everything is ok.

Stephanie LeleuStephanie Leleu

I think it’s a really positive thing to think that there are all these people behind you, with all their expertise, working really hard to make sure you come through your cancer and return to normal life.

Deborah GilbertDeborah Gilbert