HEALTH officials at East Renfrewshire council are urging residents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of bowl cancer.
April is bowel cancer awareness month, and the East Ren community health care partnership (CHCP) has responded with a campaign running in libraries, the Clarkston clinic and Eastwood park headquarters.
Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, and you are more at risk of developing it if you’re over 50 or have a significant family history of the illness.
Other high risk factors include polyps in your bowel, a long-standing inflammatory disease like Crohn’s or colitis, and type two diabetes.
The disease is treatable if caught early, and symptoms to be aware of are bleeding, changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness and pains or lumps in your stomach.
An ERC spokeswoman explained: “If you are worried about your health please do not be embarrassed to seek advice.
“Remember, most symptoms will not be bowel cancer.
“But knowing the symptoms of bowel cancer, reporting them as early as possible and making sure they are properly investigated is crucial to the successful treatment of the disease”.
There are, of course, ways of reducing the risk – small changes to diet and lifestyle which could make all the difference, including cutting down on red and processed meats, maintaining a healthy weight through exercise, eating your five a day and cutting back on smoking and drinking.
Meanwhile, if you are worried about any symptoms, make an appointment with your GP, or contact the bowel cancer UK advisory service on 0800 840 3540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.