Born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele – now 81 – is undergoing chemotherapy to address cancerous lesions in his colon, which was found during a routine examination at the end of August. Sao Paulo’s Hospital Albert Einstein confirmed that Pele is in a “stable” condition. Set to be discharged in a “couple of days”, Pele’s treatment follows surgery he had in September earlier in the year.
Pele, at the time, spent nearly a whole month at hospital in order to tackle the cancer.
Otherwise known as bowel cancer, Cancer Research UK listed the early warning signs of the condition.
Possible symptoms of bowel cancer may include changes in a person’s bowel habits.
For example, bleeding from the back passage, or having blood in your poo, needs to be investigated by a medical professional, as it could indicate cancer.
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Bowel cancer can also lead to looser stools, more frequent bowel movements, and constipation.
After opening your bowels, a growing tumour in the colon could cause a feeling that you can’t truly empty your bowels.
In essence, the bit you are unable to excrete could be the tumour that you are feeling.
Such a lump might be noticeable to a doctor who performs a rectal examination.
Unexplained weight loss could also be indicative of the body trying to fight cancer.
Other potential warning signs can include pain in the abdomen or back passage, tiredness, and breathlessness.
If you are concerned about colon cancer symptoms for more than three weeks, you should discuss them with your doctor.
In the UK, everyone registered to their doctor from the age of 60 to 74 are automatically invited for bowel cancer screening every two years.
The NHS added: “If you’re 75 or over, you can ask for a kit every two years by phoning the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.”
This service is also currently available for people aged 56 years old.
The national health body stated: “For the screening test, you use a home test kit to collect a small sample of poo and send it to a lab. This is checked for tiny amounts of blood.
“Blood can be a sign of polyps or bowel cancer. Polyps are growths in the bowel that may turn into cancer over time.”
Treatment for bowel cancer
Like Pele, anybody diagnosed with bowel cancer can expect a myriad of treatments.
Treatments can range from surgery to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and targeted therapies.
As with most types of cancer, the chance of a complete cure depends on how far it has spread by the time it is diagnosed.
Unfortunately for some people, the cancer is not curable and end-of-life care will be offered.