This week we have seen the devastating news of the late Dame Deborah James’ passing. An advocate and voice for Bowel Cancer research, Deborah was dedicated to using her platform and her incredible energy to raise money and awareness for the charity. Sadly, she passed away on 28 June 2022 from Bowel Cancer at only 40 years old.
Bowel cancer symptoms
Deborah’s diagnosis was a shock and her death at such a young age has undoubtedly made people wonder about their own health and wellbeing. Whilst cancer is more common in those over the age of 60, it does not mean those below that age are immune and it is vital that everyone recognises its symptoms. Some early warning signs of bowel cancer include:
- Rectal bleeding: blood in your stool;
- Tenesmus: constantly feeling like you need to empty your bowels, even if already empty;
- Persistent abdominal pain;
- Weight loss; and
- Changes in bowel movement.
If you have any concerns over your symptoms or family history, it is important that you speak to your GP and ask for advice. Early treatment can make a significant difference to the outcome so the sooner advice is sought regarding any worrying symptoms the better. See here for the NHS guidance on symptoms to look out for.
Missed opportunities bowel cancer
Unfortunately, there are occasions when medical professionals miss opportunities by failing to recognise the seriousness of symptoms or where important signs are not followed up. The following situations are examples of the sorts of concerns we have looked into on behalf of clients:
- Failing to properly examine a patient;
- Failing to make referrals to a hospital for further testing or treatment;
- Failing to follow up on patients and referrals;
- Failed to keep accurate or complete records;
- Making incorrect diagnoses; and
- Providing incorrect treatment.
The importance of checking your symptoms and speaking up is an important topic today especially because at times even medical professionals miss things. If this does happen to you, it is important you know what your rights are. If you do have concerns about your condition we can advise you confidentially about your options to explore any concerns you have. We are very happy to provide initial advice free of charge.
How can we help?
For further information on the subjects discussed in this article or any related topics, please contact Carolle White (Senior Associate and Chartered Legal Executive) or Vikky Lai (Trainee Solicitor) in our Medical Negligence team on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form.