Family history key to cancer awareness (From This Is Cheshire)

by Symptom Advice on April 12, 2012

Family history key to cancer awareness

12:30pm Monday 9th April 2012 in News

Dr Barry Taylor

CHECK your family history is the key message from doctors at Warrington Hospital who are raising awareness of bowel cancer.

The national ‘be clear on cancer’ campaign has been encouraging anyone who experiences changes in their bowel habits or blood when they go to the toilet, to visit their GP.

Dr Barry Taylor, consultant general colon and rectal surgeon, said: “Patients shouldn’t be embarrassed about visiting their doctor if symptoms persist for six weeks.

“There are four surgeons at this trust and it’s what we do all day long.

“Family history can be very significant as a mother or father who has had bowel cancer under the age of 50 would mean a higher chance of being diagnosed.”

as one of the most common cancers, particularly in older patients, a national bowel cancer screening programme has recently been rolled out across the country for over 60s.

mr Taylor added: “Patients main worries are if it can be cured, what is the treatment involved and are they going to survive.

“If we catch it early it is eminently treatable and curable and the majority of patients tend to do very well.”

Patient Eric Hand, from Stockton Heath, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2010 after experiencing diarrhoea and spells of feeling weak.

He was told the tumour was small, operable and curable and had the support of his wife Julie, who works as a district administrator at Warrington Hospital.

The 65-year-old said: “Before I started my treatment I used to drive past Clatterbridge and think ‘I hope I never end up there’ but it’s a fantastic place.”

Eric, who had his own sign-making business, had five days of radiotherapy before a colostomy operation which was later reversed.

He added: “Now I’ve never felt better.

“I’ve had a lot of men asking me about my symptoms because they have been experiencing the same thing but didn’t want to talk to their doctor about it.

“My treatment was fantastic and if something isn’t right you should get it checked.”

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