Don't Flush Away Your Toilet Worries

The government's launching a new 'Be Clear On Cancer' campaign nationwide, to raise awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer.

It's after a pilot of the campaign, which took part in a small number of counties including Hertfordshire, proved to be a success.

ThePublic awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer is low, but spotting the signs early and getting medical advice could save people's lives.

Bowel cancer affects 33,000 people every year in England with the majority of cases occurring in people over the age of 55. It affects both men and women and is the second biggest cancer killer, responsible for more than 13,000 deaths a year. In 2008 there were around 400 cases of bowel cancer in Northamptonshire.

Featuring real GP's, the 'Be Clear On Cancer' campaign will encourage people who have had blood i their poo or loose poo for more than three weeks to see their doctor. The new adverts aim to make people aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and make it easier for them to discuss this with their GP.

If England's bowel cancer survival rates matched the rest of Europe an additional 1,700 lives would be saved every year.

Sue Judge, from Croxley Green, was diagnosed with the disease in 2004 ''I went to the doctors very early, it was treated, within five to six months I was perfectly back to normal, working again and enjoying life. Had I of left it for say three to four years, maybe I wouldn't be here today.

I was extremely fortunate. Bacause I noticed the symptoms very quickly it was in the very early stages and it's been cured. Here I am eight years down the line and I'm fit and healthy.''

BOWEL CANCER SYMPTOMS

  •     Blood in poo for three weeks or more
  •     Looser poo for three weeks or more
  •     A pain or lump in your tummy
  •     Feeling more tired than usual for some time
  •     Unexplained weight loss

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