Suffolk: Cancer campaign to raise awareness of symptoms

SUFFOLK: A health campaign is today aiming to open people’s eyes to the symptoms of bowel, breast and lung cancer, after it emerged the illnesses affect more than 1,100 patients in Suffolk each year.

NHS Anglia Cancer Network (ACN) said research shows people in Ipswich are at risk of missing important symptoms of the diseases, prompting their Be Clear on Cancer campaign.

While 98 per cent of people surveyed in Ipswich identified a lump or swelling as a possible symptom of cancer, ACN said there is “considerably lower awareness of other symptoms”.

Simon Rudland, a Suffolk-based GP said the early diagnosis of the these cancers saves lives.

“As a GP I often see people who have had symptoms for weeks or even months – very often ignoring them or just sitting at home worrying about them.

“It is much better to get them checked out as soon as possible.”

Ipswich resident Tony Godden, a member of the Ipswich Hospital Cancer Services User Group, has beaten bowel cancer twice.

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He added: “I felt unwell but like many men I was reluctant to go to my GP.

“It was only after friends kept telling me that I should get checked out that I finally went.”

After visiting his GP in 1998 he was admitted for surgery the next day. Five years later the symptoms returned. “If you have symptoms, please get them checked out. These cancers don’t have to be killers – I’m proof of that,” he said.

Symptoms of bowel cancer include blood in your faeces or looser faeces for three weeks. For breast cancer, a lump, changes to nipples and skin changes are symptoms, while a persistent cough can indicate lung cancer. Visit www.nhs.uk/cancer