TAMESIDE and Glossop residents are being urged to contact their GP if they spot the symptoms of bowel cancer.
It is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK with someone diagnosed every 15 minutes. But it shouldn't be, as it's treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.
This April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month and NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing Bowel Cancer UK's campaign urging local people to contact their GP practice if they have any symptoms or if things don't feel right.
Year on year the CCG continues to see an increase in the number of people who complete a bowel screening test when offered, this is in line with NHS England but remains below the National standard (75%).
Bowel cancer is more common in the over 50s but can affect people of all ages. Increasing the chances of an early diagnosis could save a person's life. In March 2020, 62.1% of eligible people in Tameside and Glossop, aged between 60 and 74 years of age, were screened for bowel cancer within the last 30 months.
Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage, however this drops significantly as the disease develops.
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
Dr Ashwin Ramachandra, Co-Chair at NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG, said: "Most people with these symptoms don't have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms, but if you have one or more of the symptoms highlighted, or if things just don't feel right, contact your GP practice."
Bowel Cancer UK are offering free online awareness talks to workplaces and community groups about symptoms, risk factors and screening and can offer training in all aspects of bowel health, screening and symptom awareness.
During April, they are also encouraging people to sign up to Step up for 30! It's really simple, just get active every day and ask family, friends and colleagues to sponsor you. Whilst you're getting fitter and feeling healthier, you'll also be raising money to help stop people dying of bowel cancer by funding vital services and lifesaving research. Sign up today.
For more information visit bowelcanceruk.org.uk
Campaign information can also be found at: https://www.tamesideandglossopccg.org/campaigns/bowel-cancer-awareness