Pain in the upper abdomen that is worse before meals and during the night might be due to a peptic ulcer. The major cause of ulcers is an infection of the stomach by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori...


Screening for colon cancer

The government has announced that there will be a screening programme to detect colon cancer at an early stage - before symptoms occur and at a stage when surgery is curative.

This will involve testing a sample of faeces for the presence of blood. The test kit will be easy to use and hopefully a good proportion of the target population (over 55 years) will take this opportunity. The planning is continuing but may be ready to start in 2 years.

The best screening is to have a colonoscopy at 50 years. This cannot be funded by the taxpayer but for those serious about prevention - this is the best approach.

See section on polyps and cancer for more details

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