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Let’s #BrewTogether to spread awareness of bowel cancer and help save lives

Posted: 11/10/2019


This week is #BrewTogether week, an awareness week set up by Bowel Cancer UK which is aimed at encouraging people to talk about bowel cancer and make a donation for vital services and lifesaving research.

What is bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer is the general term for cancer in the large bowel and is sometimes referred to as colon or rectal cancer. It is one of the most common cancers in the UK and although it is more frequently diagnosed in people over the age of 60, it can occur in younger people too.

Symptoms

As well as fundraising, one of the aims of #BrewTogether week is to get people talking about bowel cancer, including the signs and symptoms to look out for.

Common symptoms are as follows:

  • 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
  • bloating, pain or discomfort in your tummy

If you have these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have bowel cancer as many other health conditions can cause similar symptoms (eg piles, Crohn’s disease, IBS). However, you should seek medical advice.

Bowel screening

As bowel cancer is more common in people over the age of 60, all men and women (who are registered with a GP) are invited to carry out a faecal occult blood test every two years. This is a home test kit, which involves collecting a stool sample. An additional bowel scope screening test is also being gradually introduced in England for people over the age of 55.

If you are under 55/60, whilst you are less likely to develop bowel cancer, it is still important for you to be aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for and seek medical advice if they occur. This is because the sooner bowel cancer is diagnosed, the better the outcome is likely to be. If the cancer has not spread to other organs, it can be cured by removing part of the bowel.

How you can help

We had our #BrewTogether in the Guildford office on Tuesday morning to raise awareness amongst our colleagues and whilst it’s nearly the end of the awareness week, you can help spread awareness at any time. Therefore, if you’ve not already organised a #BrewTogether, it’s not too late and you can still sign up here.

Failing that, you can raise awareness by simply talking about bowel cancer, the symptoms and the screening options with your friends and family. Please also share this article on social media using #BrewTogether.

Emily Hartland, associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches Cooper, comments: “I recently wrote an article commenting on the increase in UK cancer survival rates and as mentioned, it is awareness weeks like #BrewTogether which are contributing to the improvement in these statistics.”

“As bowel cancer is more commonly diagnosed in people over 60, there is no regular screening for those under this age and it is therefore extremely important for people to be aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for. Unfortunately, we act for a number of clients who have experienced  a delay in the investigation of their symptoms and this is why we fully support cancer awareness campaigns like this one.”

Penningtons Manches Cooper’s clinical negligence team is happy to have an informal, no obligation, chat with anyone who has concerns about the care they have received in relation to diagnosis and management of any type of cancer. Please call freephone 0800 328 9545 or email clinnegspecialist@penningtonslaw.com for further information.


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