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April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and I was pleased to attend a meeting with Bowel Cancer UK this week in Westminster.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK with nearly 43,000 people diagnosed every year. That means every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with the disease. Sadly, more than 16,500 people die from the disease each year, making it the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. This shouldn't be as it’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage. However this drops significantly as the disease develops.

New findings released by Bowel Cancer UK for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month have revealed that more than four in ten (45%) people in the UK cannot name a single bowel cancer symptom. Early diagnosis is essential to improving bowel cancer outcomes and being able to recognise the symptoms and speaking to your GP when you feel something isn’t right, could save your life.

The symptoms of bowel cancer can 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

Raising awareness of the disease and taking part in the bowel cancer screening programme when sent the test in the post is vital in improving early diagnosis.

To find out more about bowel cancer, visit Bowel Cancer UK’s website:


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