Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK. Most people diagnosed with it are over the age of 60.


Things to look out for

Symptoms can include:

  • A persistent change in bowel habit lasting several weeks, especially going to the toilet more often or diarrhoea
  • Blood – either bright or dark – from the back passage
  • Pain, especially if it is severe, in the abdomen or back passage
  • A lump in your abdomen
  • A feeling of not having emptied your bowel properly after a bowel motion
  • Unexplained tiredness and/or weight loss

If the cancer causes an obstruction in the bowel, symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating


What is peritoneal cancer?

Peritoneal cancer is a rare type of cancer that involves the peritoneum which is the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. The Christie is an expert centre in the treatment of peritoneal cancer, and our group of radiologists are experts at diagnosing and monitoring peritoneal cancer. For more information see:


What treatments are available?

The treatments for bowel and peritoneal cancer are:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological therapy (targeted therapy)
  • Interventional Oncology procedure such as bowel stenting, liver vascular procedure (SIRT, TACE) percutaneous ablation and biliary procedures.

You may have one of these treatments, or a combination. The type or combination of treatments you have will depend on how the cancer was diagnosed and the stage it's at.

The consultant diagnostic and interventional radiologists at Christie Oncology Imaging will be able to provide diagnostic CTPET/CTand MRI scans which will help to diagnose, stage monitor bowel and peritoneal cancer response to surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. We also provide US/CT guided biopsy to obtain tissue samples which will help to tailor chemotherapy and other treatments to specific tumour characteristics. We may be able to offer an interventional oncology procedure such as biliary procedureliver vascular procedure (SIRT, TACE), and percutaneous ablation.


For more information see: