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October 2018 - Month in Review

Enter November. October was a busy month, so to make sense of it, proceed through the doorway up ahead to delve in to the fascinating, sometimes-scary, sometimes-enchanted world of the Health Promotion team at St. Mark’s Bowel Cancer Screening Centre. Halloween has never been a more apt way to end a month!

It is quite well known that red processed meat is linked to bowel cancer, but an article was released this month that showed a link between processed meat and breast cancer also. Information such as this reinforces the notion that we should be aware of our lifestyles and diet. What we eat and how we live plays an increasingly important factor in our health, so we should be aware of these links and make informed decisions about how we live. You can find the article here.

Coinciding with this, another news article also noted that bowel cancer is on the rise amongst young people in Europe, again this is likely to be due to environmental and lifestyle factors as it correlated with an increase in overweight and obesity in people across the continent. The importance of us taking care of ourselves through the food we eat and how we live cannot be overstated.

Over the course of October the Health Promotion team at St. Mark’s Bowel Cancer Screening Centre have been busy with the public outreach, working with community centres, social groups, GPs and pharmacies including *deep breath* Tesco Pharmacy, Sangam Centre, Ellis Practice, Punjabi Association, Elm Park Club, West Indian Self Effort, Chakhill Community Centre, Perivale Medical Clinic, Alpha Chemists, Pearl Medical Centre and Reem’s Pharmacy *and breathe*. As ever, we’re more than happy to work with organisations situated in North West London, so if you do have a desire to raise awareness and screening rates for bowel cancer then please contact

St. Mark’s hospital’s Bowel Cancer Screening Team were at the World Endoscopy Organisation in Vienna to present our work with UCL. One such study includes our collaboration with GPs, and moreover how reminder letters for patients have resulted in a 20 percentage point increase in screening uptake in one scenario. Renowned individuals and organisations from the world over came to discuss their different strategies and approaches to bowel cancer screening. It’s very interesting to see how barriers are tackled through a variety of different methods around the world, as well as giving us the opportunity to learn from them.

We also held a patient representative meeting at St Mark’s in order to gain valuable feedback and insight from our patients. This meeting gives patients an opportunity to talk about what they were impressed with and where we can improve. The meeting in October was very well attended and we learnt a lot about how we can make even small alteration to make patients’ experiences less confusing and more comfortable and welcoming.

And finally, the London North West University Healthcare Trust has opened the Staff Excellence awards to allow for patients and staff to nominate employees or teams that you think have done an outstanding job. If you’ve had any experience with the Bowel Cancer Screening Team here at St. Mark’s we would greatly appreciate if you could nominate us for the Divisional Awards. Just head over to and fill out the form as the picture shows below along with your own details and experiences.

Thank you for going through this journey with us, it’s been tiresome and turbulent, but we’ve made it. Now it’s time for Woolly-Hat-Weather!


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