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Lower GI cancer (NICE guidance - urgent referral for suspected cancer)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Colorectal cancer

Refer people using a suspected cancer pathway referral (for an appointment within 2 weeks) for colorectal cancer if:

  • they are aged 40 and over with unexplained weight loss and abdominal pain or

  • they are aged 50 and over with unexplained rectal bleeding or

  • they are aged 60 and over with:
    • iron-deficiency anaemia or
    • changes in their bowel habit, or

  • tests show occult blood in their faeces

If rectal or abdominal mass:

  • consider a suspected cancer pathway referral (for an appointment within 2 weeks) for colorectal cancer in people with a rectal or abdominal mass

Consider a suspected cancer pathway referral (for an appointment within 2 weeks) for colorectal cancer in adults aged under 50 with rectal bleeding and any of the following unexplained symptoms or findings:

  • abdominal pain
  • change in bowel habit
  • weight loss
  • iron-deficiency anaemia.

Anal cancer

  • consider a suspected cancer pathway referral (for an appointment within 2 weeks) for anal cancer in people with an unexplained anal mass or unexplained anal ulceration.

Use of FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) to identify possible colorectal cancer:

offer FIT to assess for colorectal cancer in adults without rectal bleeding who:

  • are aged 50 and over with unexplained:
    • abdominal pain or
    • weight loss,

  • or are aged under 60 with:
    • changes in their bowel habit or
    • iron-deficiency anaemia,

  • or are aged 60 and over and have anaemia even in the absence of iron deficiency

Reference:

  1. NICE (June 2015). Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer.

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The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

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