This April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and players and managers are backing the seventh annual Know the Score campaign.
- If you’ve had bleeding from your bottom, blood in your poo or suffered a persistent change in bowel habit that has lasted three weeks or more, especially if you’ve been going to the toilet more often or experiencing unexplained looser stools, tell your doctor. Other symptoms include: a pain or lump in your stomach; feeling extremely tired for no obvious reason; unexplained weight loss.
- You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting it checked out. If it’s not serious, your mind will be eased, but if it is bowel cancer, we know that when it’s diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than 9 in 10 people will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with less than 1 in 10 people when diagnosed at the latest stage. A trip to your doctor could save your life.
- Eat healthily: Fibre is very important in reducing your risk of bowel cancer. Try to eat more wholegrains, pulses, vegetables and fruit. Limit how much red meat you eat and avoid processed meats as much as possible. Avoid high calorie foods and sugary drinks.
- Cut down on alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a number of health problems and is linked with bowel cancer. By drinking less, you’ll reduce your health risks.
- Look after yourself: Keep active. Swim, cycle, go dancing - the more you can do, the better. Even walking to your local shops instead of taking the car can make a difference.
- Stop smoking: Giving up will lower your risk of getting bowel cancer. Visit smokefree.nhs.uk.