Doctors in Fylde and Wyre are backing Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and calling on local men and women to be aware of the symptoms as well as ensure they take part in regular screening.

As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (April) NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wishes to remind people that bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, yet regular screening helps to save thousands of lives every year.

Screening, which involves spreading a small amount of poo on a test kit over a few days at home, is available to men and women between the ages of 60 and 74. People in this age group will be sent an invitation followed by a screening kit two weeks later.  A screening kit is then sent out every two years.

While bowel cancer screening is not a test for cancer, it can detect blood in your poo – one of the symptoms of bowel cancer. Other symptoms include:

  • Change in your poo (diarrhoea or constipation)
  • Pain or a lump in your tummy
  • Unexplained weight loss or tiredness

Over 40,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year, however with an early diagnosis 90 per cent of cases can be treated successfully.

A total of 434 men from the Fylde and Wyre area were diagnosed with bowel cancer between 2005 and 2009. In that same period 361 local women were also diagnosed making it the third most common cancer form in the area.

These statistics are why the CCG has outlined cancer as a priority in its soon to be published 2030 Vision for Health and Care in Fylde and Wyre. The vision sets outs the CCG’s hopes for health and care up to 2030. In regards to cancer, the CCG hopes to ensure patients receive a faster diagnosis and better treatment.

Dr Adam Janjua, vice-chair and GP clinical lead for cancer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “Anyone who recognises any of the bowel cancer symptoms should see their GP straight away as it gives us a much better chance of spotting bowel cancer early. One of our focuses in the soon to be published 2030 vision is cancer and ensuring people receive an early diagnosis.

“The test might not sound too appealing but it’s quick and easy and could save your life. It can be done in your own bathroom and it’s important that you don’t put it to one side thinking that you’ll do it later – any delay could be serious.”

For advice or to request a screening kit if you are aged between 60 and 74, call 0800 707 60 60 or visitwww.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/bowel.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services in the area to meet patients’ needs. This is known as ‘commissioning’.
  • Led by family doctors (GPs), the CCG currently serves a population of 152,000 people across approximately 320 sq km of coast and countryside. The majority live in the urban towns of Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Lytham St Annes, but a significant proportion live in rural villages.
  • The CCG receives a set amount of money from the government – around £200million in 2014/15 – and is committed to spending this wisely for the benefit of local people.
  • There are many ways to get involved in health service developments, including joining our Affiliate Scheme or your practice’s patient participation group.
  • For more information about the CCG and how to get involved log onto www.fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk

For further information, please contact Jonathan Bridge on 01772 214213 or email jonathan.bridge@lancashirecsu.nhs.uk.