April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month. Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. 100 people in Southwark are diagnosed with it every year.
If you are aged between 60 and 74, you will receive a free test kit in the post. This kit aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage. If bowel cancer is caught early you have more than a 90% chance of successful treatment.
The kit is used to collect a tiny poo sample and all you have to do is return it in the envelope provided. So if you receive a test kit, please do send it back – it could save your life – and encourage older relatives and friends to do the same.
If you have not received a kit in the last two years and are aged over 60, please call 0800 707 6060 to request one. You can also call if you need an additional test kit.
Bowel screening is only for people without symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, don’t wait for your test kit – see your GP straight away:
• Bleeding from your bottom and/or
blood in your poo
• A change in bowel habit lasting
three weeks or more
• Unexplained weight loss
• Extreme tiredness for no
• A pain or lump in your tummy
As with many cancers, bowel cancer may be prevented by having a healthier lifestyle. According to Bowel Cancer UK, around half of all bowel cancers could be prevented by eating a healthier diet; taking more exercise; cutting down on alcohol; and stopping smoking.
For further information, please visit NHS Choices.