Dr Mike Clark - bowel cancer awareness month, NHS Cheshire CCG

A Cheshire health chief has urged people to get checked sooner for symptoms of bowel cancer in a bid to tackle the country’s second biggest cancer killer.

Dr Mike Clark, Governing Body GP at NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, says someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes.

And during the current Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, he is fighting for earlier detection so it can be treated effectively.

That’s the message of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, which NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting this month.

Dr Clark (pictured) said: “Around 268,000 people in the UK have bowel cancer, with 42,000 diagnosed each year.

“Nearly everyone survives if they’re diagnosed at the earliest stage but this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives.

“It’s best to be aware of the key symptoms such as persistent and unexplained change in the bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness and a pain or lump in your tummy.

“If you have one or more of these symptoms, please call your GP.

“Whilst, you may not able to visit your GP currently, it’s still important you talk to an expert as it may well be nothing to worry about.

“You can reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer by eating more fresh chicken, fish and meat-free meals.

“People who eat a diet low in processed and red meat are less likely to develop bowel cancer.

“You should aim to eat more fibre, stick to the low-risk drinking guidelines, stop smoking and exercise vigorously for at least two and a half hours a week.”

Visit www.bowelcancer.org.uk to find out more.

NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans and buys healthcare services for a population of around 770,000 people, with a local health budget of £1.2 billion.

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