April is the month of chocolate Easter eggs, a glorious four-day Bank Holiday weekend and the Grand National – not to mention the threat of abysmal weather! However, there’s also another event that you might want to get involved in and that’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.
The team at Bowel Cancer UK are asking for your help to spread awareness about the disease.
How you can get Involved in Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
Bowel Cancer UK can send you a goody pack including information, T-shirts and balloons to make your fundraiser the talk of the town. Simply visit their website, call 020 7940 1760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
On the other hand, you might want to…
- Volunteer at the London Marathon to cheer on the charity’s team of runners
- Follow them on Facebook or Twitter
- Help raise awareness by watching this video
- Hold a coffee morning, cake sale or pub quiz
- Share your story with the charity email@example.com
- Talk to your local community about the condition
Or you may wish to have a ‘Great Start Breakfast’ with family and friends. For a free guide visit Bowel Cancer UK.
What is bowel cancer?
Unless the condition has affected you or your family and friends, it’s probably something you know little about.
You might remember that British reality TV star and talent show judge Sharon Osbourne was diagnosed with cancer of the colon in 2002 and recovered! To put bowel cancer into perspective, this is the third most common type of cancer in England, according to the National Health Service (NHS).
Bowel cancer is also called colon, rectal or colorectal cancer and typically develops in the large bowel. The condition starts when cells in the bowel multiply out of control before invading surrounding tissues and spreading to other parts of the body. There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of getting bowel cancer. These include:
- Age – according to the NHS, 72 per cent of people diagnosed are over 65 years of age
- Diet – a diet high in red and processed meats and low in fibre and saturated fat
- Weight – slim people are less likely to develop bowel cancer
- Exercise – being active reduces your risk
- Lifestyle – alcohol and smoking can increase your risk
- Genes – if a family member has the condition, this increases your chances
It’s worth remembering that 90 per cent of those who are diagnosed in the early stages are successfully treated so visiting the doctor could save your life. Here are a list of symptoms:
- A lump or pain in your stomach
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blood in your stools or from your rectum
- A change in bowel habits
- Abdominal pain