Friday, 11 April 2014

Roadshow raises awareness of bowel cancer

As Bowel Cancer Awareness Month gets underway, the ‘Take the Test Roadshow’ - aimed at raising awareness of bowel cancer screening and highlighting benefits of completing the test - will visit the Rivergate Shopping Centre in Irvine on Friday (April 11th).

The roadshow is part of the SNP Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early campaign to encourage people between the ages of 50 and 74 to participate in the Scottish Bowel Screening programme.

Although bowel cancer is the third-most common cancer in Scotland, with almost 4,000 people diagnosed with the disease every year, only a little over half of those who are eligible to participate in the screening programme every two years, actually do the test. Currently, take-up of bowel screening in Ayrshire and Arran is 54.7%.

The campaign’s TV advert, featuring the ‘hidden’ voice of Still Game star Ford Kiernan, is back for a further run to highlight the campaign message - ‘Bowel Cancer. Don’t Take A Chance. Take The Test’. It will highlight the fact that although often not visible, the early signs of bowel cancer can be picked up by the test.

The Detect Cancer Early tour will offer help and advice on how to take the test and staff will be available to answer any questions about the disease.

Hazel Henderson, Consultant in Public Health at NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said, “Bowel cancer is the third-most common cancer in Scotland, yet when detected at an early stage, it’s highly treatable – more than nine out of ten people survive if it’s caught early.

“As the signs of bowel cancer can be unnoticeable, the screening programme is the best way to detect blood in the bowel, which can be a sign of bowel cancer.

“We would urge all local people between 50 to 74 years old to find out more about the benefits of taking the bowel screening test. It’s important to break down some of the taboos around the private nature of bowel cancer and we welcome the Detect Cancer Early Roadshow to Ayrshire, which will help to raise awareness of this important public health issue amongst local people.”

Ms Henderson also flagged-up NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s annual Bowel Screening Awareness event, which this year takes place on Friday, April 25th in the Alexander Fleming Education Centre, Crosshouse Hospital - registration from mid-day with the programme starting at 1pm.

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