Bid to raise awareness of bowel cancer

IF you spot your doctor in a silly tie this week do not be alarmed - he is probably just raising awareness of one of the UK's biggest killers.Health staff across west Suffolk will be uniting this week to raise awareness of the UK's second biggest killer cancer - bowel cancer.

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IF you spot your doctor in a silly tie this week do not be alarmed - he is probably just raising awareness of one of the UK's biggest killers.

Health staff across west Suffolk will be uniting this week to raise awareness of the UK's second biggest killer cancer - bowel cancer.

The charity Beating Bowel Cancer is encouraging everyone to sport their loudest ties or wackiest pieces of neckwear in order to raise awareness and much-needed funds to fight the disease.

As well as wearing outlandish ties or neckwear throughout the week in exchange for sponsorship, health staff throughout west Suffolk are being invited to pay 50p to enter an online quiz about bowel cancer with the proceeds going to Beating Bowel Cancer.

Information packs have also been sent to about a dozen shops in Bury St Edmunds that sell ties.

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Dr Penny Finn, GP and Cancer Lead for Suffolk West Primary Care Trust, said it was very important for people not to be embarrassed about the subject of bowels and to regularly observe their stools.

She said: “You should check for changes in colour or consistency and for blood in your faeces.

“However, in the majority of cases, these symptoms will not mean that you have cancer but something else, such as piles, irritable bowel syndrome or polyps.

“If any symptom persists make an appointment at your GP surgery to have it checked out. It probably won't be cancer but your GP won't mind and you'll be reassured.”

It is believed that diet, lifestyle and family history are the three factors most likely to affect a person's chances of developing bowel cancer but it is estimated that about 90pc of cases could be treated successfully if caught at an early stage.

For more information about bowel cancer contact Jan Brittain at the Macmillan Cancer Information Centre on 01284 713023 or by email: jan.brittain@wsh.nhs.uk

Anyone wishing to take part in Loud Tie 2006 should call 020 8892 5256 or log onto www.beatingbowelcancer.org for a fundraising pack.

There are about 30,000 new cases of bowel cancer every year in the UK and about 16,000 people die from the disease (almost 50 people every day).

Bowel cancer will affect one in 18 people during their lifetime.

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