NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales has pledged to support Bowel Cancer UK’s campaign, to help raise awareness of symptoms during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April.

This month 188 people in Wales, will be diagnosed with bowel cancer and 77 people will die of the disease. It is the nation’s second biggest cancer killer. However, it need not be because it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer but this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives, but only around 15% of people are diagnosed at the earliest stage.

Being aware of key symptoms and visiting your GP if things don’t feel right can help increase chances of an early diagnosis. However, according to a recent poll commissioned of 4,000 UK adults by the charity, a third of people in Wales (33%) were not aware of any symptoms at all.

The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

Mr Hamilton said, “As the local AM, I am totally committed to increasing awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, both locally and nationally. A recent study found that 25% of people in England could only name one of the five most common bowel cancer symptoms and more than 35% were not aware of any symptoms at all.

“This is very worrying and I would urge my constituents, if they are worried that something is wrong, to visit their GP.

“They will want to see you. Your GP may be able to put your mind at rest or refer you for further testing. .Bowel cancer can be treated and cured and early diagnosis really can save lives.”

Asha Kaur, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer, said, “I’d like to thank Neil Hamilton for supporting our campaign during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to increase awareness of key bowel cancer symptoms.

Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer. That’s almost 42,000 people every year. But it’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.”

To help you raise awareness of bowel cancer, Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer is giving away free copies of their handy symptoms guide for you to share with your family and friends. Sign up now to receive your free guide here: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/symptomsguide

Visit Bowel Cancer UK or Beating Bowel Cancer’s website to find out how you can get involved in their campaign for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: bowelcanceruk.org.uk or beatingbowelcancer.org.

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