Don’t miss your bowel cancer screening appointments, health professionals are warning.
The incidence of bowel cancer in Nottinghamshire is higher than the national average.
Dr Paul Oliver, GP and clinical lead for NHS Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group said: “People over 60 are most at risk, so it is so important that they accept their invitation to the screening process when it arrives.”
Bowel cancer occurs when the cells in the bowel multiply and attack the surrounding tissue - which can then spread to the other parts of the body. It is also called colon cancer.
The symptoms of bowel cancer can be:
bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
a change in bowel habit for three weeks or more especially to looser or runny poo
unexplained weight loss
extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
a pain or lump in your tummy.
Patients might experience one, some, all of the above or no symptoms at all. Most symptoms will not be bowel cancer. People who are worried about any symptoms that might be caused by bowel cancer, should make an appointment with their GP.
Patients aged 60 to 74 will automatically be sent an invitation and a screening kit to do the test at home. The testing kit is a very simple way to collect small samples on a special card at home. There are clear instructions sent with the kit. People then send the card in a hygienically sealed, prepaid envelope to a laboratory for testing. They will be sent the results of the test by post within two weeks.
3. Bowel cancer facts:
each year around 16,000 people die of bowel cancer
in the UK around 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year
bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK
around 110 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every day, that’s someone every 15 minutes
bowel cancer affects both men and women
if diagnosed early, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully
five-year-survival rates for bowel cancer have doubled over the last 40 years
the majority (95%) of bowel cancer cases occur in people over 50, but it can affect anyone of any age
your lifetime risk of developing bowel cancer is 1 in 16. For men it’s 1 in 14 and for women 1 in 19.