As part of a project across West Yorkshire to raise awareness about bowel cancer staff from the NHS wellbeing service in Wakefield have held a special information event for local residents.
With an average of 205 cases of bowel cancer diagnosed and 85 lives lost from the disease each year in Wakefield, the event was part of a local campaign to help raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms.
Health and wellbeing workers and staff from the community food and health team manned the stand at The Demonstration Station in Wakefield Market on Thursday 10th November offering advice on how to sport the early signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and information on eating a healthy diet. They were joined by community volunteers and cancer champions.
The earlier bowel cancer is diagnosed, the better the outlook. More than 90 per cent of people diagnosed with bowel cancer at the early stage survive for at least five years compared with only 6.6 per cent of those diagnosed at the late stage. 10,000 lives, across all cancers, could be saved each year if England matched the best cancer survival rates in Europe.
Speaking about the event Bev Juniper, team leader of the health and wellbeing team, said, "We’re running this event to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and to encourage local residents to visit their GP if they spot any. Whilst leading a healthy lifestyle and having a healthy diet can reduce your risk of bowel cancer, it is important that everyone – particularly those over 50 are aware of the signs and symptoms so that they can act fast. We hope this local event helped raise awareness among local people, particularly those at greater risk."
The key symptoms of bowel cancer to look out for are: •a persistent change in bowel habit, especially needing to go to the toilet more often or having diarrhoea for several weeks •bleeding or blood in the bowel motion •severe abdominal pain or a lump in the abdomen •unexplained tiredness or weight loss
If you are experiencing any of these signs then book an appointment to see your GP straightaway.
The event is part of a project which is focusing on the Eastmoor area of Wakefield; this area has been highlighted as an area in greater need for bowel cancer awareness. The project will run for six weeks with NHS staff and local community champions helping to raise awareness to increase early diagnosis of bowel cancer in this area and reduce the number of associated deaths.