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BMI The Beardwood Hospital

BMI The Beardwood Hospital gets loud about Bowel Cancer and answers common questions about the disease

Staff at BMI The Beardwood Hospital in Lancashire have been raising awareness for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer’s 2011 ‘BE LOUD BE CLEAR’ campaign. Fronted by former England Rugby captain Matt Dawson, the initiative aims to encourage people to be loud and clear about the symptoms and treatments available for the disease, which is the second largest cause of cancer related deaths in the UK[i] after lung cancer, claiming 50 lives every day.[ii]


Mr Lyndon Jones Consultant General Surgeon at BMI The Beardwood Hospital

Executive Director of BMI The Beardwood Hospital Sam Sheehan said, “Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer[iii], yet there are still people that are unaware about the symptoms of the disease. We hope that our efforts will help further people’s understanding of the illness.”

Mr Lyndon Jones Consultant General Surgeon at BMI The Beardwood Hospital says, “Over the years I have treated many patients affected by bowel cancer. The willingness of patients to speak openly and honestly with their doctors about their bowel symptoms can make a huge difference in their health outcome. I along with the staff at [hospital] am proud to support Beating Bowel Cancer’s efforts. We very much hope that our participation in the event can help encourage people to become more aware of the disease.”

Mr Lyndon Jones answers common questions about Bowel Cancer:-

  1. What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?
    The most common symptoms to look out for are a persistent change in your bowel habit, particularly if you find you are going more often and are looser for a number of weeks. If you have bleeding from your bottom that you cannot explain, sudden tiredness or weight loss then you should be checked out by your GP.
  2. At what age should I start worrying about bowel cancer?
    The average age of patients diagnosed with bowel cancer is 75 years old. However, bowel cancer can affect people of any age. Up to 10% of the people affected are under 50 with some patients in their late teens and early twenties being diagnosed with bowel cancer. It is important that both males and females of all ages actively take responsibility for their own bowel health. If you notice any changes in your bowel you should speak to your GP.
  3. How do I get screened for bowel cancer?
    The NHS actively screens for bowel cancer in people over 60 years of age. However BMI Healthcare hospitals provide bowel cancer screening to patients over 45. If you have any symptoms of bowel cancer or have a strong family history of the disease then you will be automatically referred for screening by your GP. Specialist bowel cancer screening is a quick, safe and effective way to put your mind at rest. 
  4. What are the causes of bowel cancer?
    There is often no obvious cause for bowel cancer. However if you have a close relative who has had bowel cancer then you are at more risk of inheriting the disease. Other factors, which may increase your chance of contracting bowel cancer, are a diet that is high in fat and red meat but low in fibre, fruit and vegetables. It is important to exercise regularly and to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. .
  5. Is there anything I can do to prevent developing bowel cancer?
    It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, so that if you notice any change in your bowel health you can seek medical advice quickly. It’s estimated that around 90%[iv] of cases could be treated successfully if caught early enough. Above all, the best way of preventing bowel cancer developing is to avoid obesity. Obesity is the major risk factor for bowel cancer. If you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly then you can lower your chance of getting bowel cancer by 50%[v].

Reference

[i] Beating Bowel Cancer: http://www.beatingbowelcancer.org/Resources/Downloads/PR%20090127.pdf
[ii] Beating Bowel Cancer: http://www.beatingbowelcancer.org/Resources/Downloads/PR%20090127.pdf
[iii] Beating Bowel Cancer: http://www.beatingbowelcancer.org/Resources/Downloads/PR%20090127.pdf
[iv]Beating Bowel Cancer:  http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/home/bowel-cancer/bowel-cancer-facts-and-figures
[v]NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer-of-the-colon-rectum-or-bowel/Pages/Causes.aspx

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