Local GPs urge residents to be aware of the early signs of cancer
Blood in stool? Tummy pains that last longer than three weeks? Coughing up blood and pains in the chest? All of these could be early signs of cancer, warn local GPs.
A new campaign has been launched by the NHS in Hackney to raise awareness of some of the symptoms of bowel, gastro-intestinal, and lung cancer.
The campaign aims to improve early diagnosis as many typical abdominal and respiratory symptoms of cancer go unnoticed or are dismissed as nothing serious.
Symptoms such as tummy pains, seeing blood in your poo, or coughing up blood should not be ignored and if you are experiencing any abnormal toilet behaviour, you should contact your GP.
Some factors that increase the risk of cancer can’t be helped, such as age – 90% of all cancers are diagnosed in people over the age of 50, so older people should be on the look-out for any symptoms. However, as many as four in 10 cancers are preventable.
Particularly in patients over the age of 50, it’s important that if you have any new symptoms such as a change in bowel habit, you contact your GP.
Often people feel embarrassed or nervous about coming forward, but your concerns will be taken seriously and it’s always worth having an open conversation so that you can get the treatment you need if something is wrong.
There are many things we can do as individuals to reduce our risk of cancer, including stopping smoking, leading an active lifestyle with a balanced diet, and limiting our intake of alcohol.”
We’re excited to be launching this project. By understanding how we can make healthier choices to minimise our risk of cancer and knowing when to seek help if we have any symptoms, we can improve cancer survival by spotting symptoms earlier and getting patients the treatment that they need.
It is really important to speak to your GP if you are experiencing these potential symptoms of cancer. Though it may sound scary, the best thing to do is to speak to your GP so they can investigate. It may be nothing, but if it is, finding cancer early means it's easier to treat
Find out more about cancer symptoms on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/symptoms/ or contact your GP to find out more.