April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of bowel cancer led by Bowel Cancer UK. Being aware of the key symptoms and contacting your GP if things don’t feel right can help increase chances of an early diagnosis. You’re 14 times more likely to survive bowel cancer if it’s found early.
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
Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. If you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, contact your GP.
Bowel Screening Test
Bowel screening is offered every 2 years to people aged 50 to 74 across Scotland to help find bowel cancer early. It involves taking a simple test at home. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, as this could mean a higher chance of bowel cancer. If you’re eligible, the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre will send you a free test kit to your home address (this is the address you used to register with your GP). If you have been contacted, please don’t ignore the opportunity to be screened. For more details including a useful video about how to do the test Click here.
Other help and support
· NHS Inform is Scotland’s national health information service www.nhsinform.scot It provides access to a range of health and wellbeing information including bowel cancer and bowel screening. The website is also home to Scotland’s Service Directory, a source of reliable, quality assured information containing details of local and national health and wellbeing services and support groups.
· Cancer Research UK : www.cancerresearchuk.org
· Macmillan : www.macmillan.org.uk
Thank you for your support in raising awareness of Bowel Cancer. Together we can make a difference. Together we can save more lives.