Leena Khagram, of the North East London Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, took the time to visit the Geezers this week.
Leena was very good at explaining what’s involved to us. She has a very natural conversational style of presenting, and asked us lots of questions. Being the age we are we were able to relay quite a few personal experiences to Leena.
She told us that Bowel Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of deaths by cancer in the UK. Bowel screening is found to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by at least 25%.
Bowel screening is available to everyone aged 60 to 74 years. The programme is expanding to make it available to everyone aged 50 to 59 years. This is happening gradually over 4 years and started in April 2021.
Anyone aged 75 or over registered with a GP can request a test kit every 2 years by phoning the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 6060
94% of bowel cancer diagnoses are in people over 50. If cancer is caught at an early stage your chances of survival are much higher. Getting the easy to understand test kit could save your life.
You can find the symptoms described in detail at Cancer Research. Leena said we should be persistent in asking questions of doctors and nurses if we were concerned we might have bowel cancer.
As far as prevention goes Leena said the gut is our 2nd brain. The digestive system is very sensitive to emotions, anger, anxiety etc. which if they are persistent over a long time can lead to problems.