Be Clear on Bowel Cancer

Be Clear on Cancer logoThe Department of Health is running a new campaign to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and increase early diagnosis.

The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign will run for nine weeks from the end of January, and aims to raise awareness that blood in your poo or looser poo can be early signs of bowel cancer. If England’s survival rates were to match the best in Europe for bowel cancer, 1700 lives each year could be saved.

The campaign will encourage people to see their doctor straight away if they are experiencing any of the symptoms.

These vital messages will be communicated via various channels, including TV, radio and print adverts, events and social media.

Find out more about bowel cancer, its symptoms and treatment available

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Coming soon – downloadable Be Clear on Cancer leaflets and posters

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6 Responses to Be Clear on Bowel Cancer

  1. Michelle says:

    My father visited his GP several times over a two year period with clear symptons of Bowel Cancer. Each time he was told he had IBS. Being a proud man who does not like to complain he took the advice on his diet on board but was so unwell. Finally he was referred resulting in advanced bowel cancer. He had a bowel operation, radiotheraphy and chemo. One year on from this treatment he is now battling liver cancer (secondary from the bowel cancer). As a family we outraged at lack of GP awarness of this condition. Early diagnosis is so vital. He should be enjoying his retirement.

    • ashah says:

      Dear Michelle

      I’m very sorry to hear about your father’s experience. We completely understand how important it is that GPs are aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and the action they need to take if they see someone who has those symptoms. Alongside the Department’s public awareness campaign to increase awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer with members of the general public to support earlier diagnosis of the disease, we are also working with GPs to ensure they have the information they need to refer patients appropriately. We have produced a range of factsheets for primary care as part of the campaign – with information about bowel cancer. We sent these factsheets to GPs in England before the campaign was launched to help them support patients who come to them presenting with the symptoms of bowel cancer.

      A separate tool to support GPs to refer patients appropriately for bowel cancer has also just been made available to GPs in England, to promote earlier diagnosis. This is part of a programme of work focused on working towards faster, more accurate diagnosis of cancer through primary care.

      Again, I am very sorry to hear about your father. I hope this reassures you that we are working with GPs to ensure that GPs are aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and have the tools they need to refer patients appropriately.

      Best wishes

      Campaign Resource Centre Team

  2. N carter says:

    Please can you stop using the word poo? It is so condescending and there are many more appropriate words which could be used.

    • ashah says:

      Dear Nick

      I raised your concern regarding the use of the word “poo” with colleagues in the Department of Health cancer marketing team. They reported that they tested a range of language with consumers and found that formal medical sounding language like “stools” or “movements” was not widely understood. The same research found that “poo” was clear, straightforward and inoffensive, particularly given the seriousness of the disease. Further work with doctors confirmed that the word was not uncommon and was appropriate under the circumstances.
      I trust that this information is helpful.

      Best wishes
      Campaign Resource Centre Team

  3. Robert F A Lycett says:

    Previously, on two occasions, I had a test kit from NHS source (by post) which I returned (used) and was informed that I was clear BUT now that I have attained the age of 75 I would no longer be sent these ‘home kits’. I have been informed by a colleage that I can request further kits.

    If this is not the case please inform me by email
    Thank you

    • ashah says:

      In response to your enquiry received on the campaign resource centre:
      The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is offered every two years to everyone (registered with a GP) in England aged 60 to 74. People over 75 can request a screening kit by calling 0800 707 60 60.
      I hope that’s helpful.

      Best wishes
      Campaign Resource Centre Team

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