Beating bowel cancer together


On Emmerdale on Monday 17 February it was revealed that the character Vanessa Woodfield has bowel cancer. 

This important storyline will play out on the soap over the coming months as Vanessa comes to terms with her diagnosis and symptoms, shares her concerns and undergoes treatment.

We’ve been working with the Emmerdale team for many months and greatly appreciated the opportunity to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

Worried about symptoms?

If you’re worried you may have symptoms of bowel cancer or if things just don’t feel right, visit your GP.

Support for you

We offer a range of information and support you might find useful, including:


We know that a bowel cancer diagnosis can have a huge impact on your life, as well as your family and friends. Find out more including the different types of tests, stages of the disease and coping with a diagnosis.

Younger people with bowel cancer

Although bowel cancer is more common in the over 50s, it can affect people of all ages. More than 2,500 people under 50, like Vanessa, are diagnosed with the disease in the UK every year. We provide support and information to younger bowel cancer patients and their families and have a dedicated campaign called Never Too Young. Find out more

Bowel cancer treatment


Many patients, like Vanessa, are offered surgery as part of their treatment for bowel cancer. 


Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells, and is available to patients to help reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.

  • Learn more about chemotherapy on our website, which explains how chemotherapy treats bowel cancer, which drugs are available and the possible side effects.
  • Listen to our podcast episode on chemotheraphy. It’s hosted by BBC’s George Alagiah, who talks to stage 4 bowel cancer patient Steve Clark and oncologist Professor Mark Saunders about the different types of chemotherapy to treat the disease.
  • Our booklet, Your Pathway, provides information across the bowel cancer pathway, including treatment options, from surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to targeted treatments.

How you can get involved

  • Sign up to monthly e-newsletter to hear all about our latest news, campaigns and ways you can support us. Join us today
  • Donate now to help support the thousands of women and men facing the reality of bowel cancer today.
  • Fundraise for us

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