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Health chiefs support awareness month to help beat bowel cancer

Health leaders at NHS Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are backing bowel cancer Awareness Month throughout April to help raise awareness and join the fight against cancer.

Bowel cancer is the UK's second biggest cancer killer - every half an hour someone dies of the disease with around 16,000 people dying of bowel cancer every year.  Almost 9 out of 10 people with bowel cancer are over the age of 60.  The symptoms of bowel cancer can be:

  • A change in bowel habit
  • Bleeding from the bottom or blood in poo
  • A pain in the tummy.

Other symptoms include a lump in the tummy, unexplained weight loss, or unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness. The symptoms do not necessarily mean that someone has bowel cancer but it is important to visit the doctor to be checked out.

If treated early there is a very good chance of recovery. If you or a loved one is experiencing any symptoms you won’t be wasting anyone's time by getting checked out. If it isn't serious, you'll put your mind at rest. If it's bowel cancer, early detection can make all the difference. Over 90% who are diagnosed at the earliest stage are successfully treated. So a trip to your doctor could save your life.

The NHS offers two types of bowel cancer screening to adults registered with a GP between the ages of 60-74.  One type of test is a faecal occult blood (FOB) test, which is carried out at home to collect a stool sample and sent off for testing.  The other type of test is offered to men and women at the age of 55 which is a one-off test called bowel scope screening.  This test involves a doctor or nurse looking inside the lower part of the bowel.

For more information about bowel cancer see www.nhs.uk