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Bowel cancer screening test â€" Do not put it off

13 April 2017


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Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is urging residents over the age of 60 to take up the free bowel cancer screening test.

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer in Bedfordshire with 240 people diagnosed every year, but it can be treated and cured, if diagnosed early.

NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation responsible for providing health care services locally, is sending out invitations for a Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, for men and women aged 60 to 74. 

Easily done at home, the screening will help detect bowel cancer early before any symptoms appear, or prevent bowel cancer from developing in the first place, by picking up non-cancerous growths, which could become cancerous in the future.

57.8% of Bedfordshire residents currently attend regular screening, which is slightly higher than the national average for England (56.4%) but health care leaders are asking all of those receiving the test complete it. 

Dr Kay Elliott cancer lead for Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime, but with early diagnosis by screening, nearly 98% of people will survive it. That’s why this test is so important.

“Doing the screening at home might feel embarrassing for some people, but it is quick and easy and we provide clear instructions to follow. It’s five minutes of your time, which could save your life”.

If you have a question about Bowel Cancer screening call the Bowel Cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

Notes to editors

What is Bowel Cancer?

Bowel Cancer is also known as colon, rectal or colorectal Cancer. The lining of the Bowel is made of cells that are constantly being renewed. Sometimes these cells grow too quickly, forming a clump of cells known as a Bowel polyp. Polyps are not Bowel Cancers, but they can change into malignant Cancer over a number of years. A malignant Cancer is when Cancer cells have the ability to spread beyond the original site and to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of Bowel Cancer may include:

·         Bleed from the bottom or/and blood in your poo

·         A change in Bowel habits lasting 3 weeks or more

·         Unexplained weight loss

·         Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

·         A pain or lump in your tummy

Bowel screening helpline

If you have a question about Bowel Cancer screening call the Bowel Cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

You can enquire about the following:

·         To request a home test kit

·         If your home test kit hasn’t arrived when you expected it

·         To find out if Bowel scope screening is available in your area

·         If you want more information about Bowel Cancer screening

 

For further information on bowel screening visit www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk

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