“Bowel Cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cause of cancer deaths so it’s so important, now more than ever, that we continue to encourage eligible patients to take part in their Bowel Cancer Screening Tests.”

That’s the message from Lisa-Lyna Ofosu-Asare, Health Improvement Specialist at St George’s University Hospital. During the month of April, Lisa and St George’s Bowel Cancer Screening Centre Team and Macmillan colleagues at St George’s are educating the local community for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

“It’s essential we ensure people know the signs and symptoms of Bowel Cancer to look out for” Lisa shared.

The signs and symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • changes in your poo, such as having softer poo, diarrhoea or constipation that is not usual for you
  • needing to poo more or less often than usual for you
  • blood in your poo, which may look red or black
  • bleeding from your bottom
  • often feeling like you need to poo, even if you’ve just been to the toilet
  • tummy pain
  • bloating
  • losing weight without trying
  • feeling very tired for no reason

You should see a GP if you have any symptoms of bowel cancer for 3 weeks or more.

Lisa shared helpful informational messaging for the public on the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, also encouraging those eligible to return FIT (faecal immunochemical test) kits they receive in the post every two years for bowel cancer screening.

NHS bowel cancer screening checks if you could have bowel cancer. It’s available to everyone aged 60 to 74 years. The programme is expanding to make it available to everyone aged 50 to 59 years. This is happening gradually over 4 years and started in April 2021.

St George’s Bowel Cancer Screening Centre and MacMillan Information Centre will be holding a joint stand at the main entrance of the Grosvenor Wing on 27 April from 10am-12pm. They will be talking all things bowel cancer, so please do drop by.

Notes to editors

For more information, visit Bowel cancer – NHS (www.nhs.uk)