Beating bowel cancer together

Historic Edinburgh building lit teal for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Our corporate partner the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) is changing the colour of one of the city’s most iconic Old Town buildings to raise awareness for Bowel Cancer Awareness month.

Our Edinburgh-based volunteer Stephen Brown has turned on teal lights at the historic Playfair Building for the last weeks of April.

The big light up is happening as Surgeons Quarter, the commercial arm of the RCSEd, aims to raise £50,000 for our “Improving Surgery, Saving Lives” campaign in 2019.

Stephen said: “I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t act quickly. I noticed that I was passing blood, which is one of the most common symptoms, so without hesitation, I went to see a doctor straight away.

“I was diagnosed with stage one bowel cancer and, thanks to the early diagnosis, I only needed a standard surgery to treat it – no chemo.

“Surgery and early intervention has saved my life so I’m doing what I can now to tell people not to be afraid or ashamed of speaking to their doctor if they have any concern.”

One in 16 men and one in 20 women in Scotland will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime, but, the disease is treatable and curable especially if caught early. Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage, however this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives 

Scott Mitchell, Managing Director of Surgeons Quarter, said: “We hope that in raising awareness of the disease we can encourage more people to talk openly about bowel cancer.

“Our partnership with Bowel Cancer UK is one that we are proud of, because both organisations share common values and understand the importance of investing in surgical progression.”

Surgeons Quarter’s hotel, Ten Hill Place, recently made alterations to all disabled toilets in its 129-bedroom building to make its services easier to use for guests who have a stoma.

The RCSEd and Bowel Cancer UK are raising £430,000 to create Scotland’s first Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Chair – a position which will be filled by a surgeon who will work to save lives and reduce long-term side effects for patients post-surgery.

Emma McGeever, Fundraising Manager at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “We can’t wait to see the Playfair building all lit up in aid of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

“It’s a pleasure to be working alongside organisations like Surgeons Quarter and the RCSEd – It’s because of their support we can continue to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer."

Surgeons Quarter and the RCSEd have big plans for hitting the £50,000 target for donations.

Themed evenings, dress down days, sponsored events, sky dives and various other activities are in the works to ensure that education, assessment and advancement in surgery can be achieved.

Surgeons Quarter promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the RCSEd campus. All profits support the charitable aims of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh which are education, assessment and advancement in surgery. 

The public are being encouraged to follow the fundraising progress and donate via the JustGiving page.

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