It’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and an important opportunity to highlight some of the common symptoms to look out for and crucially, get more people talking about their toilet habits!
What are the facts?
- Bowel Cancer is the UK’s 2nd biggest cancer killer
- The disease takes 44 lives a day in the UK
- 1 in 19 women and 1 in 14 men are affected in their lifetime
- Almost 18 out of 20 cases are diagnosed over the age of 60
- Every year 2,500 younger people are diagnosed
The disease takes no prisoners and behind the glitz and glamour of celebrity life, some of the best known stars have been diagnosed with it. These include Sharon Osbourne, Audrey Hepburn, Robin Gibb and Loose Women’s Lynda Bellingham, who sadly lost her battle with it in 2014.
54% of cases are thought to be preventable, especially if caught early, so why are the incidence rates so high? Sadly, too many people continue to ignore the signs, whether it’s because they dismiss or mistake the symptoms, or are either too embarrassed or scared to get checked over.
What are the Signs?
- Changes in bowel habits
- Blood in your stools
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
Most of the time, these symptoms will turn out to be harmless, but they should never be ignored. The earlier Bowel Cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat, so be sure seek medical advice if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Bowel cancer screening is available on the NHS for people aged above 55, but if you are younger than this, or particularly worried about your symptoms, then you can speak to a private GP or consultant about your symptoms without a referral.
At Pall Mall Medical we can offer same, or next day appointments, six days a week and your results returned promptly, meaning that we can quickly get you on the right track should any treatment or further investigation be required.