Over 80 people in Kildare are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year according to the Irish Cancer Society which launched it's bowel cancer awareness campaign recently.
According to the Society bowel cancer information and support is consistently the most sought after by the Irish public
April is bowel cancer awareness month and the Society said that the symptoms and diagnosis of bowel cancer was one of the top four pages visited on the Irish Cancer Society’s website in 2016, and was looked-for more than any other specific cancer type.
Bowel cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Ireland with the latest figures saying that over 2,500 people are diagnosed every year, and approximately 82 of these cases are in Kildare.
Around 1,000 people die from the disease annually, making it the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland. While the numbers of new cases per year continue to rise, survival rates have increased gradually with 5 in 10 surviving five years post-diagnosis in 1994 compared with 6 in 10 in 2012.**
Joan Kelly, Cancer Support Manager with the Irish Cancer Society said “Bowel cancer usually occurs in people over 60 years of age and is often diagnosed in the later stages. However, if bowel cancer is caught early, it is extremely treatable.
"During the Month of April the Society will be campaigning to make everyone in Kildare aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer. This year we have also developed an easy to use online Bowel Health Checker (www.cancer.ie/bowelhealth) which is a short quiz designed to inform people about staying healthy, being aware of their bowel health and informing people about the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer. Once completed, there is a handy printout to take to your doctor should it be needed."
Andrew Jones, 38, a bowel cancer survivor, said “I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in 2013 and I just couldn’t believe it when I got the news. I had been experiencing some abdominal pain but I really thought it was something minor. What followed that diagnosis was a year of treatment and sickness and it was a huge challenge to beat the disease.
“Thankfully I have come out the other side but it is absolutely essential that we do more to raise awareness of this cancer and encourage people to go to their doctor if they are experiencing any of the symptoms. For me, it was abdominal pain that I had put down to too much coffee”.
“Bowel cancer is very treatable, I am living proof of that, but the earlier it is caught the better. If you get a letter calling you for your bowel screening – just go. Take it from someone who has actually been through bowel cancer.”
To speak to a cancer nurse on any aspect of bowel cancer contact the Cancer Nurseline on Freephone 1800 200 700, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.cancer.ie/bowel for further information on bowel cancer and to take the Online Bowel Health Checker.