Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI MiniMed lecture to kick off Bowel Cancer awareness month

27 March 2013

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) MiniMed Open Lecture Series continues this evening with a two hour special lecture that will conclude the 2012/2013 MiniMed series. The lecture is free of charge to the public and will be held in RCSI from 7-9pm. The talk, entitled ‘Gut Health, Colon Cancer and Colon Cancer Screening', will be delivered by Joan Kehoe, a Colorectal research nurse at RCSI Beaumont and a Stomacare Nurse Specialist at Dublin's Mater Hospital, and Mary Conway, a clinical nurse specialist in Coloproctology at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin and is an Irish Nurse representative at the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland.

With April being National Bowel Cancer Awareness month, this RCSI MiniMed talk aims to give attendees a better understanding of all aspects of gut health and Bowel Cancer (also known as Colon Cancer). The onset of bowel cancer occurs when cells in the bowel change and grow quickly. This can lead to the formation of a tumour. Bowel cancer is the most common form of cancer prevalent in both men and women in Ireland (i). Bowel cancer comes second only to lung cancer as the most common cause of cancer death in Ireland (ii).

The lecture will give an overview of certain bowel disorders that could lead to or contribute to the formation of bowel cancer. Information will be given on how to diagnose, treat and manage conditions such as constipation, faecal incontinence and diverticular disease as well as bowel cancer itself. The second half of the lecture will be dedicated to the screening process for colon cancer. All of the benefits and risks of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, the first screening programme in Ireland to involve both men and women, aiming to detect unsymptomatic bowel cancer or pre-cancerous polyps, will be discussed. This new programme, part of National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS), invites members of the public who are most at risk to colon/bowel cancer (aged between 55-74) to get tested every two years.

Speaking on the importance of bowel cancer awareness, Joan Kehoe said, ‘With April being National Bowel Cancer Awareness month, this lecture will help heighten the importance of early detection of bowel cancer. A recent study demonstrated that patient's survival outcome was significantly better in the population who were screened for bowel cancer so this screening initiative will play a vital role in early diagnosis.'

The RCSI MiniMed Open Lecture Series is free of charge, however registration is essential in order to guarantee a place. Attendees can register online at and you can join the conversation online, on the night, on Twitter at #RCSIMiniMed. To view previous MiniMed lectures from this series on the RCSI YouTube channel at



[i] Irish Cancer Society (

[ii] Irish Cancer Society (