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People urged to use bowel cancer testing kit to help save lives

View profile for Laura Sheehan
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Spotting the symptoms of bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the UK.  120 people are diagnosed with the condition each day meaning more than 43,000 people are diagnosed with the condition each year. Bowel cancer is a very treatable condition provided it is detected early enough. 

So what are the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer?

  • Blood in your stool or bleeding from your bottom;
  • A change in bowel habits including looser stools, needing to go to the toilet more often or a feeling of still needing to go to the toilet;
  • Persistent pain in your tummy;
  • Feeling bloated when eating;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Losing weight without trying.

Mr Rai, Bowel Cancer Clinical Lead for the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance has advised “The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is a vital and effective tool which helps detect cancer before symptoms occur. This can often mean less complicated treatments for our patients and more positive outcomes.” Everyone aged 60 to 74 who is registered with a GP and lives in England is automatically sent a bowel cancer screening kit every two years.  However, if you're worried about a family history of bowel cancer or have started with any symptoms or concerns, you should always speak to a GP for advice. 

Head of Clinical Negligence and Partner, Judith Thomas-Whittingham discussed separately the availability of GP appointments and increasing the number of face to face GP appointments from October 2022 to enable patients to gain easier access to their GP services.  This is a positive step not just in the fight to diagnose conditions like bowel cancer at an early stage but in a world where people’s lives and medical conditions aren’t just 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.   

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