Get Involved with Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
This month is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, presenting us all with a wonderful chance to raise awareness of bowel cancer and funds to support the UK’s leading charities in the fight against the disease, Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer. Bowel Cancer UK state: “We’re determined to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer. Our vision is a future where nobody dies of the disease.” This is particularly vital as the fact remains that bowel cancer can afflict anybody, anywhere and is a disease than can impact young, old, female or male – it affects us all. There are many incorrect preconceptions about bowel cancer, specifically that it is an ‘old persons’ disease’. This is very, very wrong indeed. The incidence of the disease in younger generations is increasing and preconceptions about who may or will get the disease, can lead to late diagnosis and fatal consequences. However, for this year’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Bowel Cancer UK are putting a spotlight onto the many and very varied people affected by bowel cancer. After all, it is important to remember that bowel cancer doesn’t just stop at the individual with the disease. It has a wider scope, having a detrimental effect to families, friends and colleagues, doctors and nurses, scientists and researchers. Simply put, that incorporates millions of the population around the country and why events to increase everyone’s knowledge about the signs, symptoms and risk factors, are crucial. However, April’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual event that specifically aims to boost awareness of the disease as well as helping to raise funds towards treating the condition. As mentioned previously, the campaign is pioneered each year by various charitable organisations including the Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK, who have merged and have a primary focus of ensuring that there would be no victim of Bowel Cancer by the year 2050. Many may be unaware, but bowel cancer is actually the UK’s second bigger cancer killer. This can be changed though as the cancer is treatable and curable when diagnosed at an early stage. For all types of cancer, early diagnosis is imperative. This is why the month of April has been selected as a time to educate the public and raise awareness of Bowel Cancer symptoms.
Common symptoms of bowel cancer 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.
Bowel cancer statistics:
- There are around 41,700 new bowel cancer cases in the UK every year, that's more than 110 every day (2013-2015).
- Bowel cancer is the 4th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 12% of all new cancer cases (2015).
- In males in the UK, bowel cancer is the 3rd most common cancer, with around 23,100 new cases in 2015.
- In females in the UK, bowel cancer is the 3rd most common cancer, with around 18,700 new cases in 2015.
- Incidence rates for bowel cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2013-2015).