Our grateful thanks to Bowel Cancer UK for their input to our 'on-air' report, which you can hear again via the audio player located at thwe bottom of this page, and for the use of the information below.
As we highliighted Sadly, 44 lives are lost every day to bowel cancer. It's the second biggest cancer killer after lung cancer - yet recent research suggests, nearly half of us don't have a clue about the symptoms of bowel cancer.
Although it can strike at any age, the likelihood of developing bowel cancer increases as we get older with 8 out 10 cases diagnosed in the over 60's. The NHS National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme targets the over 60's in England and Wales and the over 50's in Scotland to detect cases of bowel cancer sooner. In fact, recent research in the UEG Journal has suggested it's three times more likely to be detected via screening.
After being paused in March 2020 the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is restarting to help save lives.
About the bowel The bowel has no digestive function, but it absorbs large amounts of water and electrolytes, which help the maintenance of the body’s systems, known as homeostasis. Undigested food is passed on from the small bowel to the large bowel where water is re-absorbed
Cancer occurs when cells in your bowel multiply out of control. These cells can invade surrounding tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
Most bowel cancers develop from polyps which are usually non-cancerous and, once detected, can be removed easily if caught early enough.
The symptoms of bowel cancer can be:
It is important to remember that most symptoms do not necessarily indicate bowel cancer but are always worth checking with your GP, especially if you are at heightened risk of developing bowel cancer.
Who is 'at risk' of bowel cancer Although the exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown, there are certain factors that increase your risk
Reducing your risk A few simple lifestyle changes can help you to reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.
For more detailed information, help & support please visit the Bowel Cancer UK website
Listen to this weeks radio report
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