What happens after surgery?
While you are recovering, the specialist team will meet to consider whether further treatment is advisable. Such decisions are based largely on the information we have about how advanced the primary cancer was. After the operation, the treatment options will be explained and if there is a need for further treatment—such as chemotherapy—this will be arranged. The specialist team will wish to see you again in the months and years after surgery to check on how you are doing. Very often, you will be offered blood tests, scans or follow-up colonoscopy to detect whether the cancer has come back. If it does recur, that is obviously bad news but there are still options for cure even if the tumor has come back.

What protects against colorectal cancer?
A diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit and low in red meat seems to help protect against colorectal cancer. A high calcium intake may be protective as may be the regular ingestion of some anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin although at the moment these are not used routinely.

Does early diagnosis make a difference?
Achieving a complete cure of colorectal cancer depends on early detection. The larger the growth and the more deeply and widely it has spread, the less likely it is to be curable. If people wait too long before reporting symptoms, the opportunity to completely remove the cancer may be lost. An early diagnosis can also be made in the absence of symptoms by screening.