03 January 2014

A project to promote bowel cancer awareness will be officially launched this Saturday 4th January with an event featuring a giant walk-through inflatable bowel.

About the project

Northamptonshire County Council has teamed up with GENIE at the University of Leicester, Clinical Genetics at Leicester Royal Infirmary, DETECT and Macmillan Cancer Support with the aim of improving the prevention and early diagnosis in Northamptonshire’s general public.

The message to everyone is clear – spotting bowel cancer early can save lives as the sooner it is found, the more likely it is to be cured and anyone noticing blood in their stools or a change in their bowel habits for three weeks or more should visit their GP.

Information about bowel cancer will be available at libraries and library volunteers will also be on hand to give advice. More than three quarters of bowel cancer cases are found in people over 60, so library volunteers will be speaking to library users aged 60 and above to encourage them to use an NHS bowel cancer screening kit.

Bowel cancer screening kits

The NHS bowel cancer screening kits are sent to people when they turn 60 or 61, then again every two years until they are 70.

The bowel cancer screening kit is a step by step home test, which will help to detect bowel cancer before other signs and symptoms are present. The kit works by detecting blood in stools, which can’t be spotted by sight alone.

The home test does not diagnose bowel cancer, but the results will indicate whether further investigation is needed.

People over 70 can also request a home test kit by calling the free NHS bowel cancer screening help line on 0800 707 6060.

As part of the project, anyone getting their concessionary bus pass at their local library will also be given a bus pass wallet with a message reminding them about the importance of early detection of bowel cancer.

County council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Councillor Robin Brown said: “By working in partnership we can promote the message that with bowel cancer early detection is absolutely vital as it increases the likelihood that it can be cured.

“We want to encourage those people who are eligible for the screening kits to make sure they use them and because libraries receive thousands of visits every month, they will provide a useful way of reaching people with this message.”

A giant inflatable bowel for people to walk-through will be set-up at Northampton Central Library tomorrow (Saturday 4th January).