Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer and it’s the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. It’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early, that’s why local health leaders are using April as bowel cancer awareness month to highlight symptoms of the disease.
Dr Carolyn Walker, local GP and clinical lead for cancer for Rochdale said: “Knowing the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer are essential for us all, given it is one of the more common cancers. Health professionals rely on people knowing the signs so they can ask for help should they suspect they have bowel cancer. Some of the symptoms can be considered embarrassing or personal, for example, bleeding from the bottom or blood in poo. But people need to overlook this and seek help if they suspect something is wrong – their life could depend on it.”
The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:
- Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
- A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
- A pain or lump in your tummy
She continues: “Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer but it’s important that people with them seek help, just in case. If things just don’t feel right see your GP as soon as possible. There’s a short film that covers the signs and symptoms that can be seen on Bowel Cancer UK’s You Tube channel. I would urge anyone to spend a minute and a half watching it, it could save your life, or the life of a friend or family member.”
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland people over the age of 60 are invited to take part in bowel cancer screening. If you are registered with a GP and over 60, a test will be automatically posted to you, so you can complete it in the privacy of your own home. Bowel cancer screening can save lives because the sooner bowel cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat so it’s important everyone takes part.
For more information visit bowelcanceruk.org.uk.