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Raising awareness of bowel cancer

Raising awareness of bowel cancer

April 22, 2015 1 comments 17737 Hits

A good article on Bowel cancer from Care UK.

April is national Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Find out how you can help raise awareness of the disease which is the fourth most common cancer in the UK.

A good article on Bowel cancer from Care UK.

April is national Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Find out how you can help raise awareness of the disease which is the fourth most common cancer in the UK.

Bowel cancer can affect people of almost any age, but around 80 per cent of people who are diagnosed with it are over 60. However, the number of people under the age of 50 who are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the UK is slowly rising, with around 2,100 people under 50 being diagnosed with the condition every year.

According to Bowel Cancer Research UK, more than 40,000 men and women are diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK. Symptoms of the condition can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your stool
  • A change in bowel habit lasting for three weeks or more especially to looser or runny stools
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

You might experience one, some, all of the above or no symptoms at all. Remember most symptoms will not be bowel cancer.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, scientists estimate that about half of all bowel cancer cases in the UK – over 20,000 new cases a year – could be prevented through healthier lifestyle choices.

There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that eating lots of red or processed meat and a diet low in fibre from vegetables, fruit and whole grains increases the risk of developing bowel cancer. Other factors which can increase the risk of developing the disease include a lack of exercise, high alcohol consumption and smoking. Research also shows that overweight or obese people have an increased risk of developing the disease.

There are many common conditions that can affect the health of our bottoms and bowels. Many cause symptoms similar to those of bowel cancer so it is important to get checked out by your doctor. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t put it off.

If you notice any changes that are unusual, or that don’t seem to be getting better on their own, your GP will want to talk to you.

There is currently an NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in place for people aged between 60 and 75 who are currently registered with a GP. As part of this, you will be sent a faecal occult blood test kit through the post. The kit allows you to collect tiny stool samples on a card, which is then returned through the post in a special hygienic envelope. Results are available within two weeks.

Independent sector health and social care organisation Care UK provides a range of diagnostic services for NHS patients at a number of its treatment centres, including the North East London NHS Treatment Centre near Ilford and Greater Manchester NHS CATS.

Find out more about Bowel Cancer Awareness Month by visiting the Bowel Cancer UK website.

Written by Marc Mclean
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Care UK.

April is national Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Find out how you can help raise awareness of the disease which is the fourth most common cancer in the UK.

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