Bowel Cancer Awareness month

April is bowel cancer awareness month, and Eastleigh Health PCN* is working with Eastleigh Borough Council to raise awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer, and the importance of participating in the bowel cancer screening programme when you are invited to do so.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK, and early detection is vital.

The symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • 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

 

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. But if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, go to see your GP. 

 

A bowel cancer screening kit, called a faecal immunochemical test (FIT), is sent to all individuals between the ages of 60-74 every two years. It’s completed in the comfort of your own home, returned by post and results are due back in two weeks. This test is meant for people with no symptoms and is one of the best ways of finding bowel cancer early. View this video to learn how to complete it.

 

YouTube video - how to do the bowel cancer screening test, by Cancer Research UK

 

The PCN and the Council urge residents to complete and return their home screening tests as soon as possible and don’t hesitate to see your GP if you notice symptoms. Start the conversation and ensure your loves ones aged 60-74 don’t ignore their latest invite for screening and are aware of the symptoms - early detection saves lives.

 

Free NHS Bowel Cancer Screening helpline – 0800 707 6060

 

Useful links for more information:

NHS bowel cancer screening: helping you decide (FIT kit) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Bowel Cancer UK

Cancer Research UK

Published: Apr 1, 2021

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