Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bowel Cancer Screening

No sniggering. This post is about your bowels. The Wales Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is being launched at an event in Llantrisant tomorrow morning. I'm very supportive of screening, and will be offering a patient's perspective between performances by the Mynyddislwyn Male Voice Choir. I'm also giving interviews to Good Morning Wales (8.05) and Post Cynta (7.05) in the morning - unless something more newsworthy muscles its way in of course.

This week, test kits which set out to identify faecal occult blood will be sent out to around 176,000 men and women in Wales, aged between 60-69. In 2010, it is scheduled to be extended to 60-74 year olds, in 2013 to 56-74 yearolds, and in 2015 to 50-74 year olds. Women are used to screening for breast and cervical cancer, but this is the first time that men have ever been subjected to a screening programme. It will be interesting to find out how we boys respond.

As well as actually discovering tumours through faecal occult blood, the programme will greatly increase awareness. The message is that if blood is noticed, go see your GP. It will probably be nothing much, but its best to check. Do not just leave it. This might cost you your life. Catching it early makes a big big difference. I know.

My quote on the Press Release that Bowel Screening Wales is issuing says "The reality is that hundreds of people in Wales have bowel cancer, but don't realise it. If the tumours were to be discovered now, and treated, the chances of a full recovery from the disease would be much improved. That's not something to be embarrassed about. Its why I'm passionate about men and women taking up screening." I'll post tomorrow night on how it goes.


sm753 said...

No-one should be squeamish about this.

My younger brother found himself sh**ting blood at age 31 and discovered he had a grapefruit-sized tumour. Now thankfully safely removed.

As a result, I was packed off immediately for coloscopy. The annoying bit is the restricted diet immediately beforehand - "Let's see, a veg stock cube for breakfast, a chicken stock cube for lunch, and a beef stock cube for dinner as a treat"!

But the procedure itself is fine. They make you all woozy and then show you on the monitor a sight you thought you'd never see - the inside of your own a*se!

Don't be scared of it. And eat more broccoli.

Glyn Davies said...

sm - indelicately put, but you speak good sense. 31 is very young to suffer Colorectal Cancer.