Health Information Week
This week is Health Information Week (1 – 7 July), which aims to promote the importance of high quality information for patients and the public, led by the NHS Knowledge for Healthcare Framework.
High quality health information can have a huge impact on people’s ability to stay healthy and manage illnesses effectively, giving them a better quality of life.
Each day during Health Information Week, we will be highlighting key themes:
Monday: Healthy lifestyles
Scientists believe around half of all bowel cancers could be prevented by having a healthier lifestyle. Our popular Simple steps for good bowel health booklet will help you understand the steps you can take for good bowel health and to reduce your risk of bowel cancer.
Our brand new Eating well: A guide to diet and bowel cancer booklet provides information about your diet during and after bowel cancer treatment. We explain how different foods can help you manage the symptoms of bowel cancer and provide tips for eating with a stoma, boosting your appetite and eating healthily.
Tuesday: Mental health; and patient stories
There are many ways to manage your emotions. Sharing your thoughts and feelings is often a good place to start. Try talking with someone close. Remember, help is always available if you need it. If you are struggling to cope, speak to your doctor, family or friends.
Our online community is a welcoming place for anyone affected by bowel cancer to talk about their experiences, share their knowledge and support each other.
Wednesday: Health and digital literacy
We offer a range of digital information about bowel cancer including symptoms, risk factors, screening, diagnosis, treatment and living with and beyond the disease on our website.
As well as downloading or ordering our health information booklets, you can read our bowel cancer research blogs, listen to our podcasts hosted by BBC’s George Alagiah, and watch our videos on the disease.
Thursday: Long term conditions; and social prescribing
Our new Your pathway: A guide to bowel cancer treatment booklet is for bowel cancer patients starting treatment, including cancer staging, treatment flow charts for colon and rectal cancer, information on surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy drugs, as well as plenty of patient stories.
For those who have finished treatment, your focus might shift to improving your general health and trying to regain a sense of normality. You may also have to find new ways of living and working with the side effects of your treatment. Visit our Living well with bowel cancer pages on our website for help and advice.
Friday: Innovations for preventing illness
Screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage, when treatment has the best chance of working. The test can also find polyps (non-cancerous growths), which might develop into cancer. These can easily be removed to lower the risk of bowel cancer. If you’re aged 60-74 (50 -74 in Scotland) registered with a GP, a test will be automatically posted to you, so you can complete it in the privacy of your own home.
We want a future where no-one dies of bowel cancer and we know more people will survive the disease if those at high risk are identified. Lynch syndrome is a genetic condition that can increase the lifetime risk of bowel cancer to up to 80. Last month (June 2019), we took our #TimetoTest petition to UK Governments calling for better identification and management of people with Lynch syndrome.
Saturday: Patient stories
Our Real life stories highlight the experience of people affected by bowel cancer, raise awareness of the signs and symptoms and can encourage and inspire other people affected.
Sunday: Mindfulness and relaxation
It's not uncommon for people undergoing bowel cancer treatment to feel extreme fatigue or tiredness - for others, feelings of stress or uncertainty might keep them awake at night. Mindfulness and relaxation can relieve this and help you to deal with any unwelcome feelings of anxiety.
Visit our Living well with bowel cancer pages on our website for help and advice.
Learn more about our different support services available to you
Find out more about bowel cancer
We’re always on the look out for people affected by the disease to help us review our health information, if you’re interested and keen to find out more email the team: firstname.lastname@example.org