Bowel Cancer Awareness Month


What is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month?

April is bowel cancer awareness month which is a fantastic annual opportunity to raise awareness of bowel cancer and help make a difference. This year Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK have merged to form the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity, with the aim of preventing as many deaths as possible associated with bowel cancer patients. As of February 2018 bowel cancer has been reported as the second most common form of cancer in the UK; however it can be treated if diagnosed early enough.


Know the Score

This April during bowel cancer awareness month, Players, managers and personalities from the world of professional football will be showing their support for the eighth annual know the score campaign. Know the score sees clubs, charities and governing bodies unite to raise awareness of bowel cancer signs and symptoms. The main aim of the campaign is to show that bowel cancer can affect anyone and if the key to successful treatment is if diagnosed early enough it is predicted that up to 95% of people can survive with early diagnosis of bowel cancer.

https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/bowel-cancer-awareness-month/


How can you get involved with Bowel Cancer Awareness Month?

Share your story- Complete the form and share your story with Bowel Cancer UK. This includes whether you have had a personal experience yourself or through a family member or friend with bowel cancer. By raising awareness and telling your story it helps to reach more people and save more lives. Personal stories help to highlight the experience of people affected by bowel cancer, raise awareness of the signs and symptoms and encourage and inspire other people affected by bowel cancer. 

Be a Star, Bake a Cake- Baking is a great way to come together this April to raise awareness and funds with friends, family and work colleagues supporting bowel cancer. You can get involved at home, work, school, college or university. In order to do this you can order a free pack from the website and also download recipes which Bowel Cancer UK have on their website. This is to help support the campaign and enjoy helping to raise money, awareness and do well for bowel cancer campaign. 

Book an awareness talk- Fill in the form on the website. This helps to educate patients, the public and healthcare professionals about bowel cancer by providing expert information and training. These talks are hosted in community groups, workplaces, or anywhere an existing group comes together and these talks cover signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, risk factors of bowel cancer, healthy lifestyle and bowel cancer prevention and bowel cancer screening. 

For healthcare professionals- Download A4 Campaign material posters for display raising awareness for bowel cancer. 

Support the campaigns to help raise awareness for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month 


What is Bowel Cancer?

Bowel cancer is the general term for a cancer that begins in the large bowel. Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or colon cancer is any cancer that affects the colon (large bowel) and rectum (back passage). The growth of the cancer slowly develops but over a longer period time it can develop into cancerous growth cells in the bowel.


How does bowel cancer develop?

Most bowel cancers start as benign innocent growths called polyps- on the wall of the bowel. Polyps are very small and most do not produce any symptoms. Polyps are common as we get older and most polyps are not pre-cancerous. One type of polyp called an adenoma can, however, become cancerous (malignant). If left undetected the cancer cells will multiply to form a tumour in the bowel, causing pain, bleeding and other symptoms. If untreated, the tumour can grow into the wall of the bowel or back passage. Once cancer cells are in the wall, they can travel into the bloodstream or lymph nodes; from here the cancer cells can travel to other parts of the body. For bowel cancer, the most common places for the bowel cancer cells to spread are to the liver and the lungs. This process of the bowel cancer cells spreading is called metastasis.


What are the risk factors of Bowel Cancer?

• Age

• Family History

• Unhealthy Diet

• Smoking

• Alcohol

• Obesity

• Inactivity

• Digestive Disorders


What are the symptoms of Bowel Cancer?

• Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

• A persistent unexplained change in your bowel habit

• Unexplained Weight Loss

• Unexplained Fatigue

• A pain or lump in your tummy

• Blood in your stools without other piles

• Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating


How can you prevent Bowel Cancer?

There are various ways in which bowel cancer can be prevented such as lifestyle changes i.e. eating a healthy high fibre diet, engage in regular physical activity, don’t smoke, and also other important factors such as screening for Bowel Cancer. To find out more information about how to prevent bowel cancer visit

http://www.letsbeatbowelcancer.com.au/bowel-cancer/prevention/


How is Bowel Cancer Diagnosed?

There are various techniques as to how bowel cancer is diagnosed. NHS Choices outline the key areas in which bowel cancer can be tested for. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer/diagnosis/

If you feel you require further medical advice regarding any symptoms of bowel cancer you may think you are experiencing then click on this link for more information on how you can seek professional medical advice. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer/symptoms/#when-to-seek-medical-advice

https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Bowel-cancer-self-assessment.aspx

If you wish to find out more about the treatments available for bowel cancer then visit

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer/treatment/