Early diagnosis is essential for bowel cancer treatment and surgery is the only cure, people worried about the disease have been reminded.
Deborah Gilbert, head of development at Bowel & Cancer Research, also advised people to stave off the disease by eating well and taking exercise, but also making sure that a visit to the doctor is a priority as soon as symptoms arise.
"We cannot stress enough that, as well as looking to diet and lifestyle, taking the symptoms seriously and going straight to a doctor with anything worrying, will help to reduce the risk of dying from this disease," she explained.
"If caught early, when surgery can be effective, survival rates increase to around 80 per cent."
A recent study published in the British Journal of Cancer last month confirmed reports that physical activity can have an important role in preventing colon cancer.
Ms Gilbert noted that more than 38,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, while survival rates are still 50 per cent.
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Cancer treatment news : 15 March 2011