Bowel Cancer Awareness Month starts next week

Almost 43,000 new cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year. That’s nearly 120 every single day. But if caught early, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully.   

That’s why raising awareness about screening is so important and why The Hangleton and Knoll Project, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Sussex and Brighton and Hove City Council – our Act on Cancer Together (ACT) project – are taking part in Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April.  

We are asking anyone who is aged between 54 and 74 to take up the offer of a bowel cancer screening kit. It’s a DIY kit and is very easy to use. It will be sent to you through the post and comes with easy to follow instructions. The test is hygienic and can be done in the privacy of your own home before being posted back to the NHS.  

The test detects tiny traces of blood in your poo. Even if the test is positive, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. But it does mean you will be seen by a specialist for further checks.  

Jilly knows what it feels like to have a positive test. She believes it saved her life.  

I did my tests religiously. I had no symptoms and no idea that I had anything wrong with me. When one test wasn’t normal, I had a colonoscopy and I was told I had cancer. That test saved my life. From the moment I was diagnosed, I had the most wonderful support from everyone in the NHS and my Macmillan nurse and her colleagues were absolutely wonderful. I was supported as a person rather than just a patient.

If you aren’t in the age group to be invited to take the test, it’s still important that you know what the symptoms of bowel cancer are. If you think you have any of these symptoms, please speak to a health care professional so you can be checked: 

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo. 
  • A persistent and unexplained change in your bowel habit. 
  • Unexplained weight loss. 
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason. 
  • A pain or lump in your tummy. 


One in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer at some time during their lives. 

Currently, only 69.6% of people eligible for it do the test. If more people did the test, more lives could be saved. 

As Jilly says:

It’s very scary, having cancer. But my goodness, there is a lot of support there.

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