Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Welcome to you all in 2019! The eagle-eyed amongst you would have no doubt noticed that we didn’t have a blog post in December, this was purely due to the end-of-year madness which grabs us all. No fret, we’re back now in 2019, which is so different to 2018! I can feel it!
This month the government announced their 10-year plan for the NHS. In it details a number of direct effects on bowel cancer patients and screening, such as lowering the age of screening from 60 to 50, a more stratified follow-up approach for cancer patients, and safer cancer treatments. Bowel Cancer UK have a more detailed run-down which you can find here.
A study which was touched upon a few months ago is the unwillingness of people to speak to their GPs about symptoms. New research shows that people are often embarrassed to speak about bowel cancer symptoms resulting in it having one of the lowest survival rates in the country (despite it being very treatable when caught early). It’s a shame that these barriers persist and directly affects our health and well being. In order to overcome this, we’ve worked to normalise conversations about bowel cancer, explain the benefits of early detection and take away the barriers, stigma and taboos around this very prevalent disease.
Speaking of having conversations about bowel cancer, the Health Promotion team of St Mark’s Bowel Cancer Screening Centre have been doing just that. Working in the community to speak candidly in order to raise awareness for bowel cancer is a core component to the work we do. Throughout January we’ve reached out to a number of community centres, pharmacies and GPs in order speak about the screening programmes available to the public and the benefits. One such community was the Safe Start Foundation (pictured above), an organisation set up to vulnerable people in accommodation, employment, care services and community work. Their website can be found here: http://www.safestart.org.uk/
A study we have worked on has been published, where we outline the ways in which pharmacies can help promote bowel cancer screening methods. This paper covers the causes, symptoms and the adenoma pathway, as well as how community pharmacies can interact with those eligible for screening. You can read the paper here https://t.co/oxsJJwxS6k, as well as this handy infographic:
A photography series called ‘A Week in the Life of St. Mark’s Hospital’ shows the happenings of St. Mark’s hospital in a new light. It’s a fascinating insight, depicting everyday scenarios and the people behind the scenes making sure the hospital runs as intended with patient-care being at the forefront. It’s interesting to see a different side of what we would usually see, and highlights the amazing stories of patients and staff that we pass on a daily basis. In order to keep up with it you can follow along with the #StMarksWeekInTheLife on Twitter, and check out a few shots here.
Lastly, a twitter thread from Jonathan Walters, professional footballer for Burnley and the Republic of Ireland, has gone viral. Jonathan’s mother died from bowel cancer, and in order to raise awareness and praise the NHS he recounts his hilarious experience of going for a colonoscopy. You can find it here, as well as his appearance on BBC breakfast. 💪
Thanks for staying until the end, we're all winners here! We'll see you next month! ✌