NHS Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting bowel cancer awareness month.
Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer yet it’s a disease which is often overlooked and diagnosed too late. Every year over 41,500 people (one every 15 minutes) are diagnosed with bowel cancer and around 16,000 people die of the disease.
2016 marks the ten year anniversary of the introduction of bowel cancer screening in England. During bowel cancer awareness month in April people are encouraged to spread the word among their family, friends and colleagues about the benefits of participating in bowel cancer screening.
The NHS bowel cancer screening programme is designed to identify the disease in people who have no symptoms. Since its launch ten years ago it has saved many lives. Screening is available every two years for people aged 60 to 74. However, uptake rates remain low; in many areas of the UK, less than half of people offered the screening actually complete it.
Chris Groves, Director of Screening for South West London Bowel Cancer Screening Centre at St George’s Hospital, said “We were pioneers of bowel screening at its inception and have successfully treated hundreds of screen detected cancers. This often silent disease can be found in its early stages by use of a simple test at home but many people are put off by the thought of providing a stool sample.
“We strongly encourage people to take part in the screening programme. There should be no excuse for ignoring this opportunity. If you are aged between 60 and 74 you will receive a postal invitation every two years. Make sure you, your friends and relatives help us to beat bowel cancer.”
Although bowel cancer affects more than one in 20 people in their lifetime, of those who get the disease, nine out of ten people survive if it is caught early.
Symptoms of bowel cancer include:
- Bleeding from the bottom and/or blood in your poo
- A change in your normal bowel habit lasting three weeks or more especially to looser or runny poo
- Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason; unexplained weight loss
- A pain or lump in your tummy
For media enquiries please contact Amy Burns, Communications Officer at Richmond CCG. Telephone: 020 8734 3016 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org