Early detection is the key

A LEADING surgeon is urging everyone to check for the tell-tale signs of bowel cancer at a time when Hartlepool is lagging behind the rest of the country for screening.

The bowel cancer awareness event will focus on the importance of acting upon the early signs and symptoms of the potentially lethal cancer.

The aim of the evening is to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, encourage the uptake of the NHS screening programme and for people to seek help as soon as possible if they recognise any signs or symptoms.

Health bosses say that awareness and early intervention is the key to successful treatment.

The event is on Tuesday 23 October 23, at 6.30pm in Hartfields Manor, Hartfields Retirement Village.

The evening will include presentations from Mr Mohamed Tabaqchali, consultant colorectal surgeon, with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “The stage of cancer at presentation is the key to a favourable outcome.

“Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms, when treatment is more likely to be effective.

“Effective treatments are available and the earlier the stage when the diagnosis is made the more successful the treatment and the better the long term survival.”

Sarah Bowman, acting consultant in public health for NHS Tees will talk about what screening is, who it is for and why it is important.

There will also be an opportunity for people to ask questions.

Teesside Cancer Awareness Roadshow will be attending to get their message across with the aim of embedding the key points into peoples’ minds rather than giving handouts to take away.

There will be information stands with expert advice from, Exercise for Life GP Referral Scheme, Health Trainers and Hartlepool LINk.

Refreshments will be available.

The event is on Tuesday 23 October 23, at 6.30pm in Hartfields Manor, Hartfields Retirement Village.

Jeff Stephens, Chair of Hartfields Patient Participation Group said: “The idea of holding this event came about after a discussion at one of our meetings around the evidence of a gradual decline in people attending screening programmes, with Hartlepool falling behind in the North-East and England averages for screening take-up, particularly for the bowel cancer screening test.

“I am delighted that we have been able to secure such eminent speakers and look forward to welcoming people to this important event.”

Anyone wishing to attend should ring Hartfields medical Practice on (01429) 869526 for seating and catering purposes.