Survey shows low symptom awareness for bowel cancer

A QUARTER of people (25 per cent) could only name one of the five most common bowel cancer symptoms, according to a poll of 4,000 UK adults.

The YouGov survey commissioned by the charity Beating Bowel Cancer also found that 35 per cent were not aware of any symptoms at all.

Over half of people (53 per cent) identified is faecal blood as a symptom but the other four remaining symptoms of bowel cancer had a low rate of awareness: change of bowel habit (13 per cent), pain or lump in your tummy (10 per cent), extreme weight loss (7 per cent) and unexplained tiredness/fatigue (2 per cent).

Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage (15 per cent) will survive bowel cancer but this drops significantly as the disease develops. April was Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and it is estimated that nearly 3,500 people will be diagnosed with bowel cancer in that period and over 1,300 people will die of the disease.

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer, says: "Every day I hear from families about the devastating effects of a bowel cancer diagnosis. Our vision is that by 2050 no one will die from bowel cancer, and raising awareness of the symptoms is a key step to achieving this."

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