• Text size
  • A
  • A
  • A
Your spotlight on local services

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Mouth


Bowel cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lower bowel and can sometimes be referred to as colon or rectal cancer.

The aim during this mouth is to bring awareness amongst everyone that bowel cancer can effect anyone, it doesn’t matter what background you’re from or who you are. During this mouth the hope is that more people will learn about the symptoms and also take up the offer of the free screening service. The earlier the cancer is discovered the better as it can be treated.

Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer and it’s the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but it shouldn’t be. It’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage however this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives. Being aware of the key symptoms and visiting your GP if things don’t feel right can help increase chances of an early diagnosis.

The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

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

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. If you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, see your GP. For more information visit bowelcanceruk.org.uk

According to the NHS, people over the age of 55 are invited to conduct a bowel scope screening and people between the ages of 60 and to 74 are automatically invited to do a home testing kit every 2 years and people over 75 or over you can ask for a home testing kit every 2 years.  

There are 2 types of test used by the NHS bowel cancer screening, you can find out more here. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer-screening/

GPs in Barking and Dagenham are backing a campaign to highlight the importance of bowel cancer screening – stressing that early diagnosis is crucial to saving lives. Click here for more information.


Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Lifeline House
25 Neville Road
Dagenham, Essex RM8 3QS