Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
Every 15 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with bowel cancer; a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to learn more about this disease and discover ways of helping to support those affected by it.
A recent survey, undertaken by Bowel Cancer UK, shows shockingly low symptom awareness for what is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, with approximately half of UK adults having no awareness as to the symptoms of bowel cancer. This needs to change — something as simple as sharing a social media post outlining the symptoms to be aware of, or talking to friends and family about the warning signs, could be enough to save a life.
The symptoms of bowel cancer can also be due to other, non-cancerous, conditions, so there is usually no need for alarm. However, anything that is not ‘normal’ for you will need to be checked out, so do contact your GP if you notice any of the following changes:
A pain or lump in your tummy
Unexplained weight loss
A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
Extreme and unexplained tiredness
Being aware of these symptoms could help catch bowel cancer early, but only if you seek medical advice as soon as you are able. Almost everyone will survive bowel cancer if it is diagnosed at an early stage, but the chances of survival drop as the disease progresses. Sadly, many adults feel embarrassed about visiting their GP for issues related to their bowel, but there is no need — your GP will have had similar conversations with many other patients and their only concern will be your health.
If you would like to discover ways to help support Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, head over to the Bowel Cancer UK website at https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/support-us/bowel-cancer-awareness-month/