Don’t ignore bowel cancer screening

Local doctors in Lancashire North are urging people to think about bowel cancer, the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.

Bowel cancer can affect men and women, with the risk increasing from the age of 60 onwards. It is the third most common cancer in men after prostate and lung cancer and the third in women after lung and breast cancer.

Doctors are now warning local people of the dangers and particularly urging anyone between 60–74 years of age to get screened.

Dr Alex Gaw, local GP and Chair of NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We strongly recommend everyone between 60 and 74 years old gets screened for bowel cancer every two years. We know the screening process may seem daunting, but it helps to spot the signs of bowel cancer early, and will reduce the chances of complications in the future. If spotted early 90 per cent of cases can be successfully treated.”

The screening, which involves spreading a small amount of poo on a test kit over a few days at home, is available to men and women between the ages of 60 and 74. People in this age group will be sent an invitation followed by a screening kit two weeks later. A screening kit is then sent out every two years.

Talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms for three weeks or more:
- Blood in your poo
- Change in your poo (diarrhoea or constipation)
- Pain or a lump in your tummy
- Unexplained weight loss or tiredness

For advice or to request a screening kit, call 0800 707 60 60 or visit www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/bowel

For more information about the condition, please contact the charity Beating Bowel Cancer. You can call their Nurse Helpline on 08450 719 301, email nurse@beatingbowel.org or visit www.beatingbowelcancer.org