Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Services

This section contains specific information for patients, families and carers about colorectal (bowel) cancer.

Colorectal cancer, also referred to as bowel cancer, is the fourth most common cancer. It occurs in men and women and is rare below the age of 45. 

Our colorectal surgery department specialises in areas of bowel dysfunctions.

Depending on your condition, we can provide dedicated clinics for many lower gastrointestinal symptoms.

Our Consultants work closely with clinical nurse specialists to offer a full range of patient care.

Common conditions that would indicate the need to seek a colorectal surgeon’s opinion could include: 

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Changes in bowel habits

  • Abdominal mass

  • Anal symptoms

  • Faecal incontinence

  • Rectal prolapse

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Colitis.

Please see a video from Macmillan about spotting the symptoms of bowel cancer. If you have any symptoms or notice anything that is unusual for you, you should see your GP straight away.


We use a wide range of investigations such as colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and ultrasound, MRI and CT scans; specialist surgery including laparoscopic resections; and other treatments including chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Our specialist surgeons are able to offer the latest in colorectal care to all our patients.

Your doctor may need to do a series of tests to find out more about your cancer. You may need to undergo one or more of the following investigations.


This is a test which allows the doctor to assess the lining of the large bowel.

The following scans also build up a picture of the inside of your body by taking a series of images:

Blood tests

The specific blood test for bowel cancer is called CEA (tumour marker).

It may take up to a couple of weeks to complete these investigations. Should you have any concerns during this time, please contact your clinical nurse specialist.

Further information about all cancer investigations can be found on the Macmillan or Bowel Cancer UK websites.

We place a lot of emphasis on your recovery, and even before any surgery a dedicated enhanced recovery nurse will start to work with you to plan how to get you back to full health as quickly as possible.

Our team works closely with other health professionals who may be involved in your care, such as radiologists, oncologists and histopathologists, which helps ensure the best possible treatment for you.

There are high rates of survival in patients diagnosed with early colorectal cancer. The amount of treatment needed depends on the exact location of the tumour within the bowel and whether there has been spread beyond the bowel. Effective treatment and chances of cure are greatly improved with earlier diagnosis.

Booking a patient

All NHS GP referrals must be submitted using the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS). Referrals sent by email or by post from GPs will not be processed.

We offer telephone assessement clinics for patients as an alternative to a face-to-face appointments. Please click here for further information on these clinics.