A new campaign is being launched to increase public awareness about bowel cancer.
Not only is the campaign aiming to improve knowledge about the symptoms and effects of the illness but it also hopes to end the embarrassed silence that surrounds the matter of bowel movements.
This is a unique crusade designed to get more people talking about their bowels and visiting their GP’s with any concerns.
Care Minister Paul Burstow explained that, “it was the first ever cancer campaign highlighting key signs and symptoms of bowel cancer” adding, “early diagnosis makes a huge difference to cancer survival rates and bowel cancer is one of the biggest killers”.
Bowel cancer is the third most common type of cancer in England with around 38, 000 new patients diagnosed with the condition every year.
The NHS Bowel Screening Programme is another vital tool in the fight against the disease because although the best chances of survival come when treatment takes place as soon as possible the cancer does not exhibit any symptoms in the first stages.
Symptoms to watch out for are unexplainable weight loss, abdomen pain, changes in bowel motions, pain when using the bathroom or bleeding that lasts for three weeks or more. No matter how self-conscious you may feel about the subject telling your GP could save your life.
Those diagnosed and treated in the early phase of bowel cancer are 90 per cent more likely to survive for at least five years, the percentage falls to 6.6 per cent if it is treated in the late stage.