DOCTOR CALLING: By Dr Kevin Hill
We are urging people in South Lincolnshire to tell their doctor if they have had tummy troubles for three weeks or more, as this could be a sign of cancer.
A new Public Health England Be Clear on Cancer campaign launched last month is targeting men and women over the age of 50, as well as their friends and family, focusing on highlighting a number of key abdominal symptoms that may be a sign of cancer if experienced for three weeks or more.
Aside from its key message: “If you have had tummy troubles for three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer, tell your doctor,” the campaign will highlight that finding cancer early makes it more treatable.
It could be that by 2020 an additional 30,000 patients per year will be surviving cancer for ten years or more; of these almost 11,000 will be through earlier diagnosis. The new abdominal symptoms campaign is the latest in a series of Be Clear on Cancer campaigns and is part of a drive to enable more cancers, including some less common ones, to be the target of awareness raising.
Don’t ignore the warning signs. If you have been suffering from tummy troubles such as diarrhoea, bloating, discomfort or anything else that just doesn’t feel right for three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer.
It’s probably nothing serious but finding cancer early makes it more treatable. Tell your doctor.
In addition, other symptoms to look out for – and tell your doctor about – include constipation, nausea/feeling sick, or blood in poo, for three weeks or more.
People who experience other unusual changes, like a lump in the tummy area, postmenopausal bleeding or unexplained weight loss, should also visit their GP.
Around 55,800 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the Midlands and the cancer mortality rate is higher in the Midlands compared to England as a whole.
Eighty nine per cent of people diagnosed with cancer in the Midlands in 2014 were 50 or older, hence the focus of the new campaign.
So it is crucial that you tell your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms highlighted by the campaign.
For more information on this subject visit www.cruk.org/abdominal-symptoms-campaign