Members of the Lancashire Bowel Cancer Screening team will be exhibiting a 2.4 metre high walk-through inflatable replica of a human colon at Accrington Market Hall on Tuesday 21 April and Sainsburys, Active Way in Burnley on Wednesday 29 April, both between 10am and 4pm. The inflatable will allow shoppers to see the inside of a bowel and learn about preventing bowel cancer. Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is a national campaign led by Bowel Cancer UK with the aim of raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease.
The event will be supported by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Communities Against Cancer team. They will be around on the day and available for people to ask any questions about symptoms of bowel cancer and to provide information on healthy lifestyle changes to reduce riskand support available in the area.
Alison Rushton, Health Improvement Specialist at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We are really looking forward to the events and working with the Lancashire Bowel Screening Service. Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, and when it comes to cancer deaths; it’s the second biggest killer. It affects men and women, particularly those who are over 50. However the sooner it is diagnosed, the better the chances are of successful treatment. The inflatable colon is a novel and fun way to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer to encourage people across the area to seek advice at an earlier stage.”
Dr Mark Hendrickse, Clinical Director for the Lancashire Bowel Cancer Screening team, said:
“It is a great opportunity for local people to see what the inside of the bowel looks like and learn about ways to reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.
“Too many people in the county wait too long before seeing their GP when they get symptoms that may suggest cancer.
"The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme gives everyone aged 60 years or over the opportunity to complete a free and simple test kit at home.
“An abnormal result could mean polyps, which are easily removed during colonoscopy, reducing the patient’s risk of developing bowel cancer in the future. The cancers that we do find tend to be at an early stage where treatment is more likely to be successful. I encourage as many people as possible to come along and find out more".
Bowel cancer symptoms to look out for are a change to your normal toilet habit to softer or looser poo, going to the loo more often or blood in your poo.
If you recognize these symptoms and have had them for three weeks or more, then it is highly recommended that you make an appointment to get checked out by your GP. The earlier any cancer is caught the more chance there is of a complete cure.
Anyone aged 75 or over can request a home screening kit by contacting 0800 707 6060. For more details, please visit the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme website at www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/bowel.
The Communities Against Cancer Team will provide free Breast, Bowel and Lung Cancer Awareness sessions to community groups in East Lancashire, please contact Alison Rushton on 01254 358046 for more information. Details about the Communities Against Cancer team can be found on their website, please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Cancer-Awareness.