Suffolk NHS 111 raises funds for charity and awareness of UK’s fourth most common cancer
The hard-working team at Suffolk NHS 111’s Integrated Urgent Care call centre have dedicated a year to raising awareness of bowel cancer and supporting a charity that helps sufferers and their families.
Care UK healthcare staff have voted to make Bowel Cancer UK its charity of the year. The company has donated £10,000 to the charity and the Ipswich based team have pledged to raise further funds for the charity, while raising awareness of the symptoms of the disease that claims 16,000 lives in the UK each year.
So far the team has raised more than £300 with a bake sale, an Easter egg raffle and a football shirt sweepstake. Events are planned throughout the summer, including a car boot sale and a Hawaiian-themed event.
Jo Lambert, a health advisor from Brightlingsea who works at the centre on Ransomes Europark, Ipswich, said: “It is important to break down the taboos around talking about bowels and poo. We speak to people all the time who are worried and embarrassed, but there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
“Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer, but it gets nothing like the media attention gained by breast or prostate cancer. The good news is, with early diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis is good. However, people need to know the symptoms.”
According to Bowel Cancer UK the symptoms of bowel cancer include:
- Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your stools;
- A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit;
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason and
- A pain or lump in your tummy.
Jo said: “A year ago I lost a dear friend. I followed him through his journey from his diagnosis to his very sad death three years later. Bowel conditions need greater awareness and we need to drop our reserve about talking about them. People should be reassured medical professionals will not be embarrassed and they will put you at your ease. It may turn out to be something as simple as piles or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If it is something more serious, the quicker you have consulted your GP, the better your chances of a complete recovery.”