Colorectal Unit

Colon and Rectal cancer


What are the symptoms:

  • These conditions are usually without any symptoms and are most often diagnosed during routine screening investigations.
  • A change in your bowel habits.
  • Rectal bleeding.
  • Anaemia with tiredness.
  • Occult blood in the stools. (This implies that the blood cannot be seen, but is picked up on a simple test of the stool).

Screening


  • This is done differently in different countries, but the gold standard remains flexible colonoscopy.
  • The aim of screening is to identify patients with polyps and to remove these polyps before they have the opportunity to become cancerous.
  • To a great extent colorectal cancer can be prevented if this is done.

Guidelines


  • The most important recommendation is that everyone above the age of 50 years should get a colonoscopy and be repeated every 10 years if the initial scope was normal.
  • High risk groups are screened earlier and more frequently.
  • Patients with colonic symptoms should get colonoscopy as part of their workup.
Colon-and-Rectal-cancer

Haemorrhoids

Everyone on the planet have got internal and external haemorrhoidal plexuses. It it when these enlarge abnormally that they are called haemorrhoids. Not all haemorrhoids need to be treated surgically, but what is important is that a proper clinical examination be do to assess the full extent of the disease and guide appropriate treatment. Pain and/or bleeding are the main symptoms, but are very non-specific and thus a proper examination is essential.

There are six distinct types of surgeries and it is no longer a “one size fits all” approach. If a surgeon only does one technique, it’s probably better to see someone else.

Pruritus ani (AKA Itchy bum)

Self care treatment is usually all that is needed:

  • Gentle cleansing. Use water and a mild soap. Do not clean vigorously. Pat dry
  • Do not scratch
  • Wear cotton underwear
  • Apply petroleum jelly or Zinc oxide ointment

Constipation

This is defined as the passing of a lower frequency of stool than what is normal for a specific individual. Although this passing of a lower frequency of stool will result in a change in consistency, ie harder stools, the consistency is not that important. What is important is that any change in bowel habits, be it the consistency or frequency be investigated.

Inflammatory bowel disease

If you suspect you might have this condition, please contact your doctor. Making the diagnosis usually requires endoscopy and blood tests.

Dr. Abraham Bezuidenhout

Dr. Abraham Bezuidenhout

Specialist Surgeon
Dr.Marthinus J G.-Smit

Dr. Marthinus J. G. Smit

Specialist Surgeon