Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: How can you help?

By Mark Flannagan, Chief Executive of Beating Bowel Cancer

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and we’d like to take the opportunity to remind you about the vital role that pharmacists play in our fight to beat bowel cancer. It is the second biggest cancer killer, but over 90% of cases can be treated successfully if caught in the initial stages, so early detection really does save lives. This is why pharmacists are fundamental in identifying patients who haven’t recognised their symptoms might be cancer or are too embarrassed to visit their GP. Read more Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: How can you help?

How community pharmacists help with the early detection of bowel cancer

By Howard Duff, RPS Director for England

The UK’s cancer survival rates lag behind those of Europe.  One reason for this is that patients often present when their cancer is quite advanced, meaning their treatment options are more limited and their lives shortened as a result.  Detecting cancer earlier is essential to the one in three of us who will develop the disease during our lifetime.

Many individuals in the early stages of cancer self-medicate because they do not recognise their symptoms as important.

We think that pharmacists can do much more to help patients recognise the importance of early detection and encourage them to take action when they have symptoms that may be of concern. Over 80% of pharmacies now have private areas where you can have a chat without being overheard, meaning more and more people feel they can seek advice and questions about their health from their pharmacist.  Read more How community pharmacists help with the early detection of bowel cancer