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Look out for symptoms of bowel cancer

Bassetlaw Health Partnerships, part of Nottinghamshire Healthcare, is urging people to look out for symptoms of bowel cancer, which is fast becoming one of the most common cancers in the UK, and not to be scared to visit their GP if they notice any signs that concern them.

 

'Don’t let embarrassment kill you’ is the message Bassetlaw Health Partnerships wants to spread across the area, to try and reduce the number of people affected by bowel cancer.

 

Last year in the UK over 40,000 people’s lives changed due to bowel cancer. Locally, 91 people in Bassetlaw were diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010.  54 of those were male and 37 female.  However, the new bowel screening programme means that early detection of bowel cancer is now possible, meaning the sooner a patient is diagnosed the better their chance of survival.

People who are aged 60 to 74 will be sent a screening kit every two years. After the age of 74 a free kit can be requested by free-phoning 0800 707 60 60. This kit can help spot and diagnose bowel cancer at an early stage, even before any symptoms may have appeared.

Meanwhile, people should look out for any symptoms, such as blood in their poo or having looser poo, and should visit their doctor if they notice any. Not all symptoms mean that it is cancer, but if it is a serious condition such as cancer, then the earlier it is diagnosed the more treatable it is.

Heather McMillan, MacMillan Cancer Information Support Worker in the MacMillan Cancer Information Service, part of Bassetlaw Health Partnerships’ Health Promotion Unit, said: “Over 40,000 people every year have their lives changed by a bowel cancer diagnosis.

“We understand how difficult it is to discuss ‘personal functions’ with your GP but early detection is essential to give the best chance of recovery.

“Look out for any symptoms and see your doctor as soon as possible; please don’t let embarrassment stop you.”

For further information please contact Heather McMillan on 01909 476563 / 01777 863282 or email heather.mcmillan@nottshc.nhs.uk.