Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
April is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of bowel cancer and highlight the symptoms that often go unnoticed.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK today, affecting around 1 in 19 women and 1 in 14 men. According to Cancer Research UK, there are now more than 41,900 new cases of bowel cancer being diagnosed every year.
If diagnosed at an early stage, bowel cancer can be treated very successfully in over 90% of cases. However, in spite of this, bowel cancer remains the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, claiming a life every half an hour.
Bowel cancer is very treatable but the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Being aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer is the most important part of protecting yourself from the disease. If you notice any one or more of the higher risk symptoms listed here, it is usually quite safe to watch and wait for up to three weeks. But if the symptoms have not settled down after this time, you should get advice from your GP.
High Risk Symptoms:
- A change in your bowel habit
- A lump in your tummy
- Bleeding from your bottom or blood in your poo
- Unexplained tiredness, dizziness, breathlessness
- Pain in your abdomen (tummy)
- Unexplained weight loss
There is no clear reason why some people develop bowel cancer while others do not, but we do know that bowel cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, scientists estimate that almost half of all bowel cancer cases in the UK could be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices.
You can reduce your personal risk of developing cancer with these lifestyle choices;
- Understand the symptoms
- Stop smoking
- Keep your weight under control
- Cut down on alcohol
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthily
Diet is probably one of the most important areas to keep under control in your life. Make sure you eat plenty of dietary fibre from whole grains, seeds, fruit and veg as it helps move waste quickly through your digestive system. Drinking plenty of water is also beneficial as well as keeping you hydrated.
At the Kingsbridge Healthcare Group our specialists help diagnose, monitor and treat bowel cancer symptoms. If you are worried about your health, don’t hesitate to book an appointment. Call us today on 028 9066 7878.