Did you know that every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer?
It is the third biggest cancer killer in Knowsley but it shouldn’t be because bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.
Being aware of the key symptoms and visiting your GP if things don’t feel right can help increase chances of an early diagnosis.
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.
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. The chances are you don’t have bowel cancer as other health problems can cause similar symptoms, but if you do have any of these symptoms you should get them checked out.
Sarah McNulty, Acting Director of Knowsley Public Health said:
“Early diagnosis really does save lives so I’d like to urge everyone to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness Month by getting to know the symptoms to look out for. It is more common in the over 50s but can affect people of all ages so everyone needs to be aware of the key symptoms.
“I’d also like to encourage anyone over 60 to complete the bowel cancer test when it comes through the post. It is meant for people who don’t have any symptoms, so it really is important to take the test, please don’t ignore it.
“If you’re 55 please take up your bowel scope screening invitation. This one-off test detects and removes any polyps, which if not removed, could eventually turn into cancer.”
Men and women aged 60 to 74 receive a free NHS bowel cancer screening kit routinely in the post, every two years. It is a simple and private test which you do yourself at home. It comes with clear step by step instructions, and is one of the best ways to find bowel cancer early, when it’s easier to treat successfully.
Bowel scope screening is being offered to all men and women in England aged 55. This is a one-off test done to look for and remove any small growths called polyps, which if not removed, could eventually turn into cancer.
For more information about screening or symptoms visit Bowel Cancer UK.