Tag Archive: Bowel Cancer

Every year, 2000 people aged 60 – 74 are diagnosed with bowel cancer

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BE CLEAR ON CANCER: 50-year-old GP, Dr Girish Patel is fronting a campaign developed by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK

BE CLEAR ON CANCER: 50-year-old GP, Dr Girish Patel is fronting a campaign developed by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK

A GP is fronting an initiative developed by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK, which highlights the role of bowel cancer screening in helping to save lives.

Dr Girish Patel, is appearing in a new Be Clear on Cancer campaign to raise awareness of the disease and hopes that he can effectively highlight the role and importance of bowel cancer screening.

The campaign is aimed at men and women aged 60-74 years to encourage them to take part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening programme.

People in this age bracket who are registered with a GP will receive an NHS bowel cancer screening kit through the post, every two years. Bowel cancer screening is a simple test that can be done in the privacy of your own home. It is designed to detect early signs of bowel cancer.

The 50-year-old GP, who lives in Eccles and has two children, appears on the official website explaining who is eligible to use the kit, how it works and why it’s worthwhile taking part in bowel screening. He has worked as a GP in Salford for 21 years.

He said: “I recommend my patients complete their bowel screening test when it arrives through the post because it’s one of the best ways to find bowel cancer early, when it’s easier to treat successfully.

“I also encourage everyone to read the leaflet sent with their test kit, to help them decide whether to take part because bowel cancer screening is a personal choice.”

Every year, 2000 people aged 60 – 74 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the North West and 600 people of the same age in the region will die from the disease.

Fiona Osgun, Senior Health Information Officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “Some people don’t return the test kit because they don’t think they need to take part if they’re not feeling ill. But screening is designed to detect bowel cancer before any symptoms develop. The kit comes with clear step-by-step instructions and tips for collecting your poo.”

“Even if the kit does show something out of the ordinary, it doesn’t mean it will turn out to be cancer. But if it is cancer, catching it at an early stage means it is easier to treat successfully.”

Bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16 per cent. When bowel cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than nine in 10 people will survive the disease for more than five years.

Anne Mackie, Director of Screening, Public Health England explained: “It is important that we raise awareness of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and highlight that screening is a choice.

“Screening gives those who participate, and who are unknowingly living with the earliest signs of bowel cancer, the best chance of successful treatment.”

Cancer Research UK believes that no one should be diagnosed too late to have treatment that might save their life.  Diagnosing cancer early is one of the most powerful ways to beat it.

For more information visit www.cruk.org.uk/beclearoncancer or ring the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

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“Don’t be stumped: Send that sample!”

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GP’S ADVICE: Bowel cancer survival rates are fantastic if caught early

GP’S ADVICE: Bowel cancer survival rates are fantastic if caught early

The message is clear: kit is life-saving

Dr Elaine James - a GP from Yeadon Tarn Medical Practice and Macmillan funded GP Cancer Lead for Leeds - has said that bowel cancer kits which are delivered to your door in the post can mean the difference between life and death.

She said: "Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer and fourth most common cancer. If it's picked up early, the survival rate is very good. 97% will survive for more than five years."

However, older men from the Asian community in the Leeds areas of Chapeltown and Harehills are reluctant to do the test. Bowel cancer screening uptake in Chapeltown and Harehills is only 39%, compared to Chapel Allerton, which has a 51% uptake.

Elaine continued: "People think it will never happen to them. But one in every 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime. Bowel cancer is especially common in the over 60's age-group. However, 54% of cases are preventable.

Bowel Cancer Champions working in the local GP practices say that male Asians are especially reluctant to use the kits. Why this has become the case is not clear, but it could be linked to their faith or beliefs, or perhaps not understanding the kit instructions.

Elaine explained that a pilot study was conducted in London where people were sent a kit with a pair of gloves and a paper towel that fitted around the toilet seat. The improved hygiene of the kits helped boost the numbers of people checking themselves for signs.

So what's in the kit? It includes a sample collection card, six cardboard sticks, a foil-lined envelope and an instruction booklet.

Testers will have a motion, catch it in a container or on toilet paper and then use the cardboard sticks to smear the samples onto the card. Then it has to be sealed into the foil lined envelope and posted for free.

It couldn't be easier.

The results are sent back in around two weeks. If it is negative (clear), another test will be sent again in two years.

If the test is positive (blood has been detected), further tests will be needed. A positive test does not necessarily mean a cancer diagnosis.

Please do not hesitate to contact your local GP surgery if you have any concerns.

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‘Test now and save your life’

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ALL CLEAR: John Whelpton was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and overcame the disease in just over a year because he caught it early

ALL CLEAR: John Whelpton was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and overcame the disease in just over a year because he caught it early

Cancer survivor speaks of the importance of checking for cancer

A bowel cancer survivor from Ackworth is urging others to test themselves for the disease after receiving the ‘all clear’ notice because he caught it early.

John Whelpton, 67, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009 after noticing blood in his stools.

During a check up with his GP due to a large prostate, he mentioned the condition had been occurring for around three months and was subsequently fast-tracked to be checked for cancer.

John was told he had stage two of four bowel cancer less than a month later.

“When I was told I had cancer for the first time, I thought that’s it, I’m going to die,” he said. “That’s the mindset I had grown up with but times have changed and cancer is no longer a death sentence.

“I was reassured quickly by a consultant who told me that because it was only in stage two of four, it could be treated.

“I was told I will be back to living a normal life.”

Within 12 months of initial diagnosis, John had the cancer removed and had a temporary stoma inserted following an ileostomy.

He is now back ‘fighting fit’ and living his normal life because the cancer was caught at an early stage.

“I would just tell people, especially those over 60, to make sure you use these test kits sent to your home because the earlier you catch it, the easier it is to treat,” he added.

“Even if you don’t think you have any of the symptoms, like blood in your stools, this test can tell if you have cancer at the earliest stage possible.

“In Leeds, the uptake of these tests is too low. Test now and save your life.”

For people aged 60-74, a free test pack is sent out to their home every two years by the NHS which allows them to carry out a test without even having to visit their local GP.

The test contains everything you need – just three items - and is very simple and straightforward to use. Simply sample, seal, send to your GP.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.co.uk and search for ‘bowel cancer’.

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Know the signs of Bowel Cancer: Tackling the second biggest cancer killer

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APPEAL: Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe is working in south Leeds to raise awareness of the importance of testing for bowel cancer at the earliest stages

APPEAL: Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe is working in south Leeds to raise awareness of the importance of testing for bowel cancer at the earliest stages

A Leeds GP is on a mission to raise awareness of the importance of testing for bowel cancer with statistics showing a 97 per cent survival rate for people diagnosed at the earliest stage.

Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe is currently helping run a campaign in south Leeds to ensure residents are taking advantage of the free test kits sent out to homes and are fully informed on the disease.

Every 30 minutes someone in the UK dies from bowel cancer despite it being one of the easiest cancers to treat if caught early.

Whether people are uncomfortable with discussing the subject or have the ‘it’ll never happen to me’ ideology, the results show a low take-up rate of testing in the UK, especially amongst BME communities.

Dr Jayasinghe said: “It is such a simple test and 98 per cent of the time, people will receive a normal result.

“If you catch the cancer early there is a very high chance of defeating it quickly, while statistics show that only 10 per cent of people who catch it at the latest stages will survive past five years.

“We are currently working with individuals in the local area to raise awareness of the importance of testing for bowel cancer and will be visiting local mosques to spread the message and offer guidance.”

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer and predominantly occurs in people aged over 60 years.

Symptoms to look out for include: blood in your poo or looser poo, a pain or lump in your stomach, feeling more tired than usual for some time, or losing weight for no obvious reason.

For people aged 60-74, a free test pack is sent out to their home every two years by the NHS which allows them to carry out a test without even having to visit their local GP.

The test contains everything you need – just three items - and is very simple and straightforward to use – simply sample, seal, send.

The three items you receive are a spatula for taking a small poo sample, a sealable card carrier to place the sample on and a freepost envelope to post it for screening. It is hygienically contained.

The test checks for the presence of blood in a stool sample, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer, and can even detect the cancer at an early stage, before symptoms appear.

After completing the test, you’ll receive the results within two weeks of sending in the kit with one of three possible results.

Most people will have a normal result, meaning no further tests are needed and you'll be invited to take part in screening again in two years (if you're still aged 60-74).

A few people will have an unclear result, and they will be asked to repeat the FOB test up to two more times.

If the result comes back abnormal, the individual will be offered an appointment to discuss colonoscopy at a local screening centre.

Dr Jayasinghe added: “If you have any of the symptoms that are common in bowel cancer, and your results come back ‘normal’ it is important that you still visit your GP.

“I want to see our community become healthier and that is something I am really passionate about.

“People naturally feel empowered when they are in good health so by carrying out these tests, of which the large majority will come back negative, it will give a lift to many people in the community.”

Asian Express Newspaper are proud to be backing the campaign this year, with features to run throughout December.

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