The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE is urging everyone aged over 60 years to get tested for signs of the second biggest cancer killer in Northern Ireland during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.
“If undetected, it can be a killer but with early intervention, it is treatable and curable,” the mayor said.
“Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early which is why the UK’s leading bowel cancer research charity, Bowel Cancer UK, is using Bowel Cancer Awareness Month during April to focus on screening.
“Screening can detect bowel cancer early before any symptoms appear, when it is easier to treat. It can also prevent bowel cancer from developing in the first place by picking up non-cancerous growths (polyps) which could become cancerous in the future.”
Anyone registered with a GP and aged 60-74 will automatically receive a free bowel cancer screening test in the post every two years.
They then carry out the simple test at home in private using a pack that comes with clear step-by-step instructions.
Bowel cancer screening saves lives but at the moment in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test complete it.
Overall uptake of the test in Northern Ireland is quite good, at 59.8% but thousands of people are missing out on what is the best way to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat and there is the greatest chance of survival.