This April, Bowel Cancer UK is embarking on its annual Bowel Cancer Awareness month with a specific focus on raising awareness of bowel cancer screening to improve early diagnosis of the disease.
Latest statistics show that bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer however, it is one of the most treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly 98% of people will survive bowel cancer for five years or more if detected at the earliest stage compared with 7% diagnosed at the latest.
Screening for changes in bowel health saves lives by detecting bowel cancer early before any symptoms appear and my picking up non-cancerous growths (polyps) which could become cancerous in the future.
If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60-74 (50-74 in Scotland) you will receive a free NHS bowel cancer screening test in the post every two years. However, in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test in the post complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the best way to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat and there is the greatest chance of survival.
“The decision to complete the screening test was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Had I not taken that course of action, there is no doubt in my mind I would not be alive today. Just do it!”- Harold.
How can you get involved?
You can raise awareness of bowel cancer and screening by re-tweeting and re-posting Bowel Cancer UK messages throughout April. Twitter @Bowel_Cancer_UK and Facebook charityBCUK or by using the hashtag #STOPbowelcancer
‘Be a Star, Bake a Cake’
You could also support Bowel Cancer UK’s ‘Be a Star, Bake a Cake’ fundraising campaign and hold a cake sale at home or work and invite people to sample the delicious treats and make a donation. A number of celebrity chefs are supporting ‘Be a Star, Bake a Cake’ including the Hairy Bikers, Rick Stein and Deliciously Ella and their recipes are available to download on the Bowel Cancer UK website. All money raised will support vital research and lifesaving work to stop bowel cancer.
For more information about screening visit http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/screening/