Just a little test could save your life.

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bowel-cancer_balloons

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Saturday 1374  – 5.04.2014

On Thursday  I received something in the post that made me cry and feel very sad.. it was an invitation to take part in Bowel Cancer Screening which apparently, here in the UK, they offer you every 2 years when you are over 60..
I didn’t know that, did you ?
The reason it made me cry was because my ex-husband had bowel cancer before he died, nearly 6 years ago at the age of 59, leaving my 2 grown-up children without their father.. A most terrible loss for them.  
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It seems as though discussing bowels, bums and poo are still taboo which is so daft when we all have bowels and bums and make poo!!  so I want to share some information about bowel cancer with you to do my bit to try to raise awareness.
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You will find slightly different statistics on different websites but I’m going to give you a few brief facts from the leaflet the NHS sent me :-
  • People who take little exercise, people who are overweight, and people who have a diet high in red meat and low in vegetables, fruits and fibre are all thought to have an increased risk of developing bowel cancer.
  • 1 in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime
  • It’s the 3rd most common cancer in the Uk and the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths

  • 8 out of 10 people who are diagnosed with it are over 60..
  • Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%

All of the above are really important to know but this bit is especially worth taking note of  –

  • If bowel cancer is detected at the earliest stages there is over a 90% chance of survival.. Yes over 90%, that’s pretty good odds isn’t it?

So what are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

Well the most common ones are these : –

  • a persistent change in bowel habit, especially needing to go to the toilet more often or having diarrhoea for several weeks
  • bleeding from the back passage or blood in the bowel motion
  • severe abdominal pain
  • a lump in the abdomen
  • unexplained tiredness or weight loss

“These symptoms do not necessarily indicate bowel cancer, but if one or more persists for four to six weeks then the GP should be consulted.”

bowel-cancer-banner-1If you live in the UK , are over 60 and get one of these invitations PLEASE do the screening.  The screening does not diagnose bowel cancer but it can detect tiny amounts of blood in faeces ( poo) and if these are found further tests can be done.

Screening was ending at age 69 but is now being extended to 74 but if you are over those ages see details of the freephone number and website as you can request a screening kit. If you are young ( lucky you !! ) PLEASE encourage your family members or friends to do the screening, it could save their life and look out for the symptoms yourself because as you will see in the case of my ex-husband ( who wasn’t overweight and took exercise) you can still get cancer of the bowel under 60.

Research has shown that only just over half the people offered the screening take it up .

Don’t be one of those that doesn’t take up the offer.

Ignorance isn’t bliss… it can be deadly.

I know I have visitors from outside the UK do you have similar screening programmes in your country?

As ever I welcome your thoughts  but I do want to end on a lighter ( and rather cruder! ) note after all this necessary serious stuff.. Keeping with the theme though !

 

politics-ship-ship_in_a_bottle-bottles-poos-poop-rje0021l

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Saturday girl signing off.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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6 comments on “Just a little test could save your life.

  1. scillagrace says:

    Free screenings are something I’d do…health care in the States is way too expensive. Don’t get me started…

  2. mary says:

    GOOD ONE HELEN 🙂

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