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Natalie asked...

What's the best way to test for bowel cancer?

Tags: Cancer

I have read your bowel cancer article today sent via email. I am an AXA customer. I would like to know if the only way to test for this is via an endoscopy or colonoscopy or will blood tests rule anything out? I have a history of IBS and piles which have caused blood in my stools. Also the IBS could explain the abdominal pain. I am a little worried so would like your advise. I am 33 and otherwise in general good health. I have mild asthma and low platelets. I don't take medication.

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The answer

An endoscopy and colonoscopy are the best tests to exclude bowel cancers but are only needed if you have any of the symptoms suggestive of cancer. Your doctor would be able to advise you further, examine you thoroughly and check some routine general blood tests that would detect any abnormalities, such as anaemia.

There is no specific blood test for cancer. If any of your symptoms are suggestive of cancer or any abnormalities are found either on examination or in the blood tests, then your doctor may consider referring you for endoscopy or colonoscopy.

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