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NICE start consultation process for colorectal (bowel) cancer

For Bowel cancer, Colorectal cancer and Rectal cancer

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have started a consultation to update the guidance on the diagnosis and management of colorectal cancer.

This guideline covers managing colorectal (bowel) cancer in people aged 18 and over. It aims to improve quality of life and survival for adults with colorectal cancer through management of local disease and management of secondary tumours (metastatic disease).

Who is it for?
  • People with colorectal cancer, their families and carers
  • Health professionals working in secondary care
  • Cancer Alliances and cancer clinical networks
  • Commissioners of colorectal cancer preventative and treatment services (including Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England Specialised Commissioning)
This draft guideline contains:
  • the draft recommendations
  • recommendations for research
  • rationale and impact sections that explain why the committee made the recommendations and how they might affect practice and services
  • the guideline context

You can follow developments on colorectal cancer by clicking on the Follow Condition button above.

About colorectal (bowel) cancer (source NHS)
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.

It's not known exactly what causes bowel cancer, but there are a number of things that can increase your risk.

These include:
  • age – almost 9 in 10 cases of bowel cancer occur in people aged 60 or over
  • diet – a diet high in red or processed meats and low in fibre can increase your risk
  • weight – bowel cancer is more common in people who are overweight or obese
  • exercise – being inactive increases your risk of getting bowel cancer
  • alcohol – drinking alcohol might increase your risk of getting bowel cancer
  • smoking– smoking may increase your chances of getting bowel cancer
  • family history – having a close relative (mother or father, brother or sister) who developed bowel cancer under the age of 50 puts you at a greater lifetime risk of developing the condition; screening is offered to people in this situation, and you should discuss this with your GP
Some people also have an increased risk of bowel cancer because they have another condition, such as extensive ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease in the colon for more than 10 years.

Although there are some risks you can't change, such as your family history or your age, there are several ways you can lower your chances of developing the condition.

NHS website for bowel cancer
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Accessed 03/08/19
Links available in External Resources

© NICE [2019]

Colorectal cancer: diagnosis and management (update). In development [GID-NG10060]. Expected publication date: 29 January 2020
Available from: See Link below. All rights reserved. Subject to Notice of rights
NICE guidance is prepared for the National Health Service in England. All NICE guidance is subject to regular review and may be updated or withdrawn. NICE accepts no responsibility for the use of its content in this product/publication.

The information provided by NICE was accurate at the time this article was issued.

NICE consultation information for colorectal cancer

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About Bowel cancer About Colorectal cancer About Rectal cancer