Bowel cancer warning

NEW research shows almost half the Suffolk population admit they don't know what the symptoms of bowel cancer are - yet 46 people in the UK die from it every day.

NEW research shows almost half the Suffolk population admit they don't know what the symptoms of bowel cancer are - yet 46 people in the UK die from it every day.

It is now the country's second biggest cancer killer.

Medical evidence confirms that if caught early enough, nine out of 10 lives could be saved. However according to a recent survey commissioned by BUPA, people in East Anglia don't regularly "peep after we poop" - the easiest way to keep ourselves in check.

The research - carried out to support Beating Bowel Cancer's 'Loud Tie Campaign' which runs until this Friday - also reveals that over half of those in the region don't think that bowel cancer is one of the top three biggest cancer killers in the UK when in actual fact it is the second only to lung cancer.

At present, 35,600 people are diagnosed each year with bowel cancer, and 45 per cent of those will die.

"Looking for blood or any changes before flushing the toilet is an easy way to detect symptoms, yet more than half the population in East Anglia admit to either never or only occasionally doing this," says BUPA's Dr Sally Cubbin.

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"Early detection and action really is the only way of beating bowel cancer. If you are concerned, or notice a persistent change in bowel habits, the first thing you should do is go and see your GP - it could save your life."

A third of those in the region know that fruit and vegetables are the best food to prevent the disease, yet 80 per cent of people are still eating less than the recommended daily allowance of five portions. Over 20 per cent eat just one portion or none at all.

And when it comes to exercise, although over a third agreed that not exercising regularly would increase the risk of bowel cancer, half the nation admitted to only exercising once a week or less, with 16 per cent confessing they never exercise.

Now in its fourth year, the charity Beating Bowel Cancer's Loud Tie Campaign, taking place this week, encourages the nation to wear loud, outrageous ties to increase awareness, remove awkwardness associated with talking about the disease and raise necessary funds for Beating Bowel Cancer.

When asked if they would be interested in a screening programme for bowel cancer over half of those in East Anglia said yes.

Weblinks:

www.beatingbowelcancer.org

www.bupa.com

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