April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Published at 16 April, 2018 00:00.

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April is all about raising awareness about bowel cancer! Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK have come together to create the UK's leading bowel cancer charity, with a mission to ensure that by 2050, no-one dies because of bowel cancer. 

Over 41,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK, making it the fourth most common cancer after breast, prostate and lung cancers. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but this doesn't need to be the case - it is curable, especially if treated early. Around 268,000 people living the UK today have been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The exact cause of bowel cancer is still unknown however, years of research has shown several factors may increase your risk of developing the disease.

Around 8% of bowel cancer cases in the UK are linked to smoking. Smokers are more likely to develop polyps (non-cancerous growths in the bowel), and whilst these are harmless – if they are left untreated, they can turn into cancer.

Bowel cancer symptoms

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

If you experience any of these symptoms, we recommend visiting your GP. Try not to worry and don't feel embarrassed, your doctor is used to seeing people with a range of bowel problems. 

 Remember, early diagnosis saves lives. 

Research has found a clear link between the number of cigarettes smoked per day and a higher risk of bowel cancer. Quitting smoking can help reduce your risk of developing bowel and other cancers. Yorkshire Smokefree support can help you start your quit journey with support and advice on nicotine replacement therapies. We’re ready when you are.

Contact us today on 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0330 660 1166 (free from most mobiles).

For more information about bowel cancer, visit the website here.