Bowel Awareness Month
Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK, and accounts for around 10% of all deaths from cancer.
The good news is that survival rates are improving, due in large part to earlier detection. That’s where regular screening programmes have an important part to play.
This April, the campaign to raise awareness of bowel cancer is highlighting the availability of screening and the importance of getting tested. Whilst it’s widely acknowledged that screening saves lives, in some areas of the UK only a third of those invited to take part do so.
This means that thousands of people are missing out on this important test that detects early-stage cancer which is easier to treat and has a better prognosis. If you are registered with a GP and aged 60 to 74 you will receive a test kit in the post every two years. So, for your own peace of mind, don’t pass up the opportunity to check for signs.
Be aware at any age
Around 5% of new bowel cancer cases are diagnosed in people aged under 50. So, whatever your age, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms. The advice given by cancer experts is that if you’ve been suffering from stomach pains or find lumps, signs of blood, or notice changes in your digestion and bowel habits that persist for more than a couple of weeks, then you should see your GP.