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April 2019 - Month in Review

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month has come to an end! It’s been a particularly busy month, as many patient stories and news articles have been able to come in to the limelight, highlighting the importance of taking part in screening, and being mindful of our health.

One of the biggest stories was BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen speaking his experiences of bowel cancer and warned people “not to die of embarrassment”, urging other to speak to their GP should the symptoms occur. This popularity of this story resulted in traffic spike in the NHS bowel cancer page!

A study was released again highlighting the association between red meat and the risk of bowel cancer. The University of Oxford study had seen an increased risk of 20% in individuals who consumed 76g a day of red meat compared to 21g a day. A similar association was also seen in increased alcohol intake. It should be noted that this increased risk was only observed in men, and not at all in women. Although we should try not jump on the evidence of a single study and wait for more research to substantiate these results, the core message of paying attention to what we put in to our bodies is ever-present.

The Health Promotion team have been kept busy with our usual primary care work and community engagement, as well as our Bowel Cancer Awareness Measurement study. We’re in the midst of gathering data of what people in North West London knows regarding bowel cancer risks, symptoms and the screening programme, to better inform interventions in the local area.

We’ve added a resources page to our website, which houses posters, leaflets, useful links and papers for everyone to use. We want this to become a centralised hub where health professionals and the public alike can access free resources to help raise awareness for bowel cancer and the screening programmes. In the future we want to have a range of materials in a number of languages to cater for everyone’s needs, so do check back with us!

ICYMI (In Case You Missed IT) St Mark’s Hospital has a podcast that have a few episodes up now. It’s the world’s only bowel disease podcast, tackling topics such as inherited bowel cancer and robotic surgery. It’s technical and definitely informative, so why not give it a listen?

Well, that was exciting. I'm in need of a lie-down. We'll catch you in a few!


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