Published on: 6 April 2022

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS Cancer Alliance is supporting Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April.

Bowel cancer affects almost 43,000 people in the UK every year, and somebody is diagnosed with it every 15 minutes. This makes it the fourth most common cancer, but it is the second biggest cancer killer.

Common symptoms of bowel cancer include bleeding from your bottom, blood in your poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness or a pain or lump in your tummy. Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, but people who are experiencing any of them should see their GP.

Dr David Crichton, Early Diagnosis Senior Responsible Officer at the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS Cancer Alliance, said: “The majority of people survive bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage. However, this drops significantly as the disease progresses.

“Early diagnosis really does save lives, and that’s why Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is so important because we need to encourage more people with bowel cancer symptoms to get themselves checked as early as possible.

“There is a huge opportunity to improve survival rates across all types of cancer, but particularly for bowel cancer, and that’s what the Cancer Alliance is striving for.

“The NHS is here for you and your GP is waiting to see you. It might be nothing, but give yourself and your family peace of mind and get checked.”

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Dr Lisa Wilde, Director of Research and External Affairs at Bowel Cancer UK says: “Bowel cancer remains the UK’s second-biggest cancer killer, but many people still do not recognise the symptoms. If you notice any signs of bowel cancer, or if things just don’t feel right for you, please visit your GP.

“While the disease largely affects people over the age of 50, more than 2,600 under 50s are diagnosed each year, so it’s really important people seek advice as soon as possible - whatever their age - if they’re worried.”

The SYBICS Cancer Alliance works to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis of cancer to improve survival rates. A key part of this work is the Nudge the Odds behavioural science programme, which looks at information on missed appointments and focuses on some of the most deprived areas of the region with the highest risk factors for cancer.

The programme is being run in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Groups, local Trusts, voluntary organisations, charities, pharmacies and primary care organisations to reach and support as many people as possible in coming forward, making and attending appointments.

For more details on Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, visit