April 2014 is bowel cancer awareness month and it’s this month when people do all sorts of weird, crazy and wonderful activities for bowel cancer charities like Bowel Cancer UK .
Some people may take part in the London marathon held on the 13th April this year or they may invite friends to join in a coffee morning or even attempt an abseil down a very tall building. People do these fun activities to raise money which helps towards funding vital bowel cancer research and helping people affected by the disease.
The NHS advise in England, bowel cancer is the third most common type of cancer and in 2009 there were 41,142 new cases registered in the UK. In woman 18,431 new cases were diagnosed, making it the second most common cancer after breast cancer. There were 22,711 cases diagnosed in men making it the third most common cancer after prostate and lung cancer.
If bowel cancer is treated early enough with a combination of treatments like surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the survival rate after 5 years is around 90%. However, if the disease is diagnosed in its latter stages then survival after 5 years is as low as 6%, with a complete cure unlikely.
The message that bowel cancer awareness month is trying to get across to people is, if you catch it early enough you have a good chance of recovery but, leave it too long and the advanced stages could be very serious! With any disease regular screening and early diagnosis are paramount in the fight to beat it.
Bowel cancer screening is offered to everyone between the ages of 60 and 75 every two years on the NHS, so if you get offered it, don’t ignore it! If you are under 55 and have any suspicion that you may have any of the bowel cancer symptoms go and see your doctor as soon as you can, it may be nothing to worry about but it’s always best to get a second opinion.
Reducing the risk of any type of cancer would be at the fore front of most people’s minds and there are a number of things that you can do. Eat a high fibre diet, keep fit and active to stay at a healthy weight and of course, reduce your alcohol intake and cut down on smoking or even better stop completely.
I don’t think it matters what type of cancer you have, catching the disease early enough may allow you to make a full recovery and carry on enjoying life to the full. However for many living with cancer and coping with the after effects of bowel surgery this time can be extremely difficult. In most cases where there are no serious complications or secondary cancers, people are well enough to carry on and lead normal everyday lives and this could also include going on holiday with family and friends.
Depending on your destination, travelling abroad for anyone can sometimes be a worry but just imagine how it may feel if you have a medical condition. Travelling abroad and experiencing the world’s delights should be for everyone regardless of what pre-existing medical conditions you may have or age.
Here at Free Spirit we are able to offer you the important peace of mind insurance while travelling abroad. In the event you become unwell or have complications because of your bowel cancer, we can provide you with the cover you need, to ensure our emergency medical assistance team are on hand to help you.
The process for getting a quote couldn’t be easier: you can follow our simple to use online screening or call us on 0800 170 7704 between 08:00 and 18.00 Monday to Friday and we’ll be happy to talk to you about your illness and, if we can, give you a quote right there and then.
Remember, don’t ignore the screening letter when it drops on your door mat, as it could save your life!