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Bowel screening could save your life

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By Fiona Reid
Front

COMMON signs and symptoms of bowel cancer are being highlighted as part of a drive to tackle the disease nationally.

Anyone with any of the following, is advised to get checked out by a doctor:

* Repeated bleeding from your bottom or blood in your poo.
* A recent change in your poo that continues for more than four weeks without going back to normal.
* Watery poo, on its own or with constipation (constipation on its own is less likely to be serious).
* Severe stomach pain that won’t go away, especially after eating.
* Losing weight without trying.
* Feeling tired all the time.
A new TV campaign is running urging people to join the ‘bowel movement’ as statistics show the likelihood of surviving bowel cancer is 14 times higher if detected at an early stage compared to a late stage.
Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland but it is also one of the most treatable cancers and when it’s found early, it can often be cured.
And the home bowel screening test – offered to people aged 50 to 74 – remains the most effective way of finding the disease early.
Every year half a million people in Scotland complete and return their bowel screening kits, but the new campaign is targeting those who put off taking the test.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “The reality is that more people than ever in Scotland are completing the test and returning it. This means more people have a better chance of bowel cancer being detected early, when the chances of survival are much higher.
“We want everyone in Scotland to have the best chance of surviving cancer.”
Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, added: “Bowel cancer is Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer with 1600 people dying each year, yet it is both treatable and curable if diagnosed early. For people of screening age, taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early.”
Visit www.getcheckedearly.org for more information or call 0800 0121 833 to request a replacement bowel screening test.

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