Bowel Cancer Awareness Month Reminds Us All to Be Clear on Cancer
Cancer Research UK and Public Health Wales will launch a Be Clear on Cancer, Bowel Cancer Screening campaign. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme to encourage more people aged 60-74 to participate in bowel cancer screening and, therefore, improve early diagnosis of bowel cancer. It will run from 5th February to 31st March 2018. Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK. If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them. Doctors are used to seeing lots of people with bowel problems. Remember, the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread. The symptoms of bowel cancer can include: • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your stool. • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit. • Unexplained weight loss. • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason. • A pain or lump in your tummy. Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms, but if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, go to see your GP. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after breast, prostate and lung cancers. Dr Ghanghro, based in Cardiff said “I support bowel screening because it can help in early detection of cancer, which leads to better treatments and better long term survival rates. I recommend my patients complete their bowel screening test when it arrives through the post and encourage them to read the leaflet sent with their test kit, to help them decide whether to take part, because bowel cancer screening is a personal choice." Over 41,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK. Bowel cancer can affect people of any age. Surprisingly, more than 2,500 new cases are diagnosed each year in people under the age of 50. People aged 85-89 have the highest incidence rate for bowel cancer (2013-2015). 1 in 14 (7%) men and 1 in 19 (5%) women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime. For men, bowel cancer is the third most prevalent cancer (23,100 new cases in 2015) and for women, it is also the third most common type of cancer (18,700 new cases in 2015). Be Clear and let’s beat bowel cancer and whenever you see symptoms do not hesitate in booking an appointment with your GP, who will examine you and may refer you for further tests to rule out the disease. The charity Bowel Cancer UK have a detailed list of ways you can get involved with Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and useful information about living with bowel cancer, including dietary advice such as what to eat and drink during treatment, and much more.