April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Written by CPGPs

On April 3, 2024
Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Awareness events seem to take place every few days, but they do offer an opportunity to educate and inform about medical conditions which can affect anyone. April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and is a chance to open discussions about this common form of cancer and educate us on the symptoms and preventative measures. Here we’re exploring the event.

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual opportunity to raise awareness for the condition and raise funds for the charity which works tirelessly to find treatments and a cure for the disease. The earlier bowel cancer is spotted, the more chance people have of being cured and raising awareness is key to this. Over 90% of people who have a bowel cancer diagnosis at its earliest stage survive but these figures drop as the disease progresses further.

What is Bowel Cancer?

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK with nearly 43,000 people receiving a diagnosis of the disease each year. It can affect people of all ages, though most diagnoses are in people over 50.

Bowel cancer is a cancer of the colon and rectum. It typically begins with the development of polyps which can become cancerous over time. Early detection is key to treatment and survival rates, so understanding and recognising the symptoms of the condition is vital.

Symptoms, Screening and Early Detection

Knowing the symptoms of bowel cancer can be crucial in spotting the condition early and maximising your treatment options. The most common symptoms are:

  • bleeding from your bottom
  • blood in your poo
  • a change in your pooing.
  • losing weight with no clear reason
  • feeling very tired all the time with no clear reason
  • a pain or lump in your tummy

These symptoms do not always indicate bowel cancer but getting them checked out by your GP will help to rule it out.

Screening Process

Screening involves testing healthy people to see if they show any early signs of cancer. Bowel cancer screening in the UK uses a home test called the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT). FIT looks for hidden blood in poo. If you’re registered with a GP and of the eligible screening age range, you will receive a test automatically in the post. You can then provide the sample required and will soon receive your results.

Chelmsford Private GPs Supporting Our Patients

Highlighting awareness events and signposting our patients to the latest information and key guidance for symptom detection is part of the service at Chelmsford Private GPs. We recognise it may be worrying if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above. It may also be a bit embarrassing, but our non-judgmental and supportive GP team have seen everything before. We are here to help you find the cause of your symptoms and get the right treatment plan in place.

Use Bowel Cancer Awareness Month as an opportunity to learn about the condition and get familiar with the common symptoms. Early detection saves lives and we support any initiative which offers a chance of a longer, healthier life.

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