Bowel cancer campaign backed by Knowsley

Published on: Thursday, 24-September-2015

A Merseyside granddad has been chosen to star in a new cancer awareness campaign which is being backed by Knowsley Public Health and Wellbeing.

Peter Matthews, 68, fronts the campaign which highlights the role of bowel cancer screening in helping save lives like his.bowel cancer campaign poster September 2015

It’s aimed at men and women aged 60-74 years to encourage them to take part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening programme.

People in this age bracket receive an NHS bowel cancer screening kit routinely through the post, every two years.
The advert is designed to help them understand what bowel cancer screening means for them and encourage participation.

Bowel cancer screening is a simple and private test that can be done at home and is designed to detect the early signs of bowel cancer.

Peter, who is married with three children and has seven grandchildren, was diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer earlier this year after taking part in the bowel cancer screening programme.

A retired council worker, Peter, had not experienced any bowel related symptoms prior to completing the screening test, which he had done routinely since first receiving a kit six years ago.

He said: “I had no problems with the kit and found it easy to use. I sent back the first test straight away, as I always do, but was asked to complete another when they found a trace of blood. After the second test I had a number of polyps removed and tested and they came back as cancerous.”

Peter underwent surgery to remove a piece of his bowel. The cancer had not spread and he did not need any further treatment.

Peter added: “I feel very lucky indeed that my cancer was caught early. Friends tell me they can’t believe how easy it all was. The whole process only took a few months from diagnosis to completing my treatment. And I will continue to have regular checkups over the next three years.

“We’re just enjoying getting back to normal now – and I am being kept busy helping to look after my grandchildren.”

Cllr Eddie Connor, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing said:

“I’d encourage anyone who receives a bowl cancer screening kit to use it and send it in. As Peter Matthews story shows, screening can detect cancers in the early stages, when treatment is easier and works better.”

Every year, 2000 people aged 60 – 74* are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the North West and 600 people of the same age in the region will die from the disease**.

Going for bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 25 per cent***.

Cancer Research UK is working in partnership with Merseyside NHS and Local Authority teams across the North West in an effort to boost the number of people taking part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.

The awareness campaign is being rolled out in Merseyside and select locations across England following the success of a recent pilot project in London.

Cancer Research UK believes that no one should be diagnosed too late to have treatment that might save their life.  Diagnosing cancer early is one of the most powerful ways to beat it.

For more information visit www.cruk.org.uk/bowelscreening  or ring Cancer Research UK’s information nurses on 0808 800 4040.”

*Based on the annual average number of cases of bowel cancer (ICD10 C18-20) in people aged 60-74 in the North West region between 2010 and 2012 **Based on the annual average number of deaths from bowel cancer (ICD10 C18-20) in people aged 60-74 in the North West region between 2009 and 2011 ***Hewitson P et al “Screening for colorectal cancer using the faecal occult blood test Hemmoccult. Cochrane Database System Review. 2007. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17253456