Chris Evans MP is raising awareness of Bowel Cancer and its symptoms following Bowel Cancer UK’s shocking finding that nearly 4 in 10 people in the UK cannot name a single symptom of bowel cancer.
In Wales, Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer, with almost 2,300 people being diagnosed in a year. Bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. According to Bowel Cancer Wales, 9 out of 10 people will survive bowel cancer if it’s found and treated early.
However, Bowel Cancer UK found that in Wales, fewer than 40% of bowel cancers are discovered at an early stage (stages 1 and 2) compared to over 55% diagnosed at stages 3 and 4, where chances of survival drops significantly.
This April, Mr Evans is supporting Bowel Cancer UK’s #KnowTheHigh5 campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease. The 5 ‘red flag’ symptoms are:
- Blood in your poo or bleeding from your bottom
- A persistent change in bowel habit
- Feeling very tired for no obvious reason
- Unexplained weight loss
- A pain or lump in your tummy
While across Wales there is a large backlog in Bowel Cancer patients receiving a follow-up colonoscopy, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In February it was announced that in Swansea, 200 people will be offered a blood test for those who have recovered from bowel cancer and are on the waiting list for colonoscopies. The blood test, which is funded by the Wales-based Moondance Cancer Initiative, will help tackle the backlog of people in Swansea Bay waiting for a follow-up colonoscopy after having bowel cancer or polyps removed.
Chris Evans MP said
‘This April I am supporting Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and the #KnowTheHigh5 Campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis.
I want to encourage anyone to see their GP if they are worried about any of the symptoms or has a family history of bowel cancer. Bowel Cancer is treatable and curable if caught early, therefore it is vital to know the symptoms and get them checked out.’
It is recommended that if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms to contact your GP. Bowel Cancer UK provides a guide to visiting your GP, which can be found here: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/diagnosis/visiting-your-gp/
You can find more information on Bowel Cancer in Wales here: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/our-work-in-wales/