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Briggs supports Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in April

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative & Unionist MSP for Lothian, is supporting Bowel Cancer UK’s campaign to urge more people to take part in bowel cancer screening and save lives, as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month which runs from April 1st, this Saturday.

More than 1,500 people die from bowel cancer in Scotland every year which makes it the country’s second biggest cancer killer.  Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.Bowel cancer screening can save lives but at the moment in some areas of the country only half of those who receive a test complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the chance to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat.

Speaking today Miles Briggs MSP, who is also a Co-Convenor of the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Cancer, said,

“ It is vital that we improve uptake rates for bowel cancer screening as early detection is crucial. It is really concerning that in some communities there is only a 50% take up rate and we need to raise awareness of this.

“ I urge Lothian constituents who are over 50 and who are sent a bowel screening test to use it without delay as it is the best and easiest way to identify bowel cancer. I also encourage the family members and friends of those who are over 50 to remind their relations and friends to take the test.”

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said, “I’d like to thank Miles Briggs for supporting our campaign during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to raise participation levels for bowel cancer screening. In Scotland, one in 15 men and one in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime but it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.”

The Scotland Bowel Cancer Screening Programme can detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms when it is easier to treat. If you’re registered with a GP and aged 50-74, you will receive a test in the post every two years. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer. 

Visit Bowel Cancer UK’s website to find out how you can get involved in their campaign for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: bowelcanceruk.org.uk.

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For further information please contact Miles’ office on 0131 348 5945. 

Follow Bowel Cancer UK on social media Twitter @Bowel_Cancer_UK and Facebook charityBCUK

About Bowel Cancer UK

Bowel Cancer UK is the UK’s leading bowel cancer research charity, determined to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer. The charity supports and influences research, educates patients, the public and professionals about bowel cancer and campaigns for early diagnosis and best treatment and care for all those affected. For more information, visit bowelcanceruk.org.uk

About bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer, affecting both men and women. Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer. That’s 41,200 people every year.

Bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer. However, this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives.

Symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A change in bowel habit lasting three weeks or more
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A pain or lump in your tummy 

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. But if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, go to see your GP. 

Chris Terry