New campaign urges people to get tummy troubles checked
Monday 9 November 2020
The NHS has today launched a new phase of their Help Us, Help You campaign, encouraging people who have been suffering from diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort in the tummy area for three weeks or more to speak to their GP.
Persistent tummy troubles can be signs of a number of cancers, including bowel, ovarian or pancreatic cancer. Around 84,000 people are diagnosed with abdominal cancers in England each year but people who are suffering with symptoms may be reluctant to visit their GP. They may be embarrassed about their symptoms, or concerned that they might be wasting their doctor’s time, or they may just put their tummy troubles down to getting older.
In addition, people may be concerned that they will be a burden to the NHS who are also dealing with COVID-19. The campaign reminds people that the NHS has adapted its services and can still see patients safely.
While it’s probably nothing serious, any of these symptoms could be a sign of something that needs treatment. If it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable and can save lives.
The campaign will use TV adverts, billboards and social media to urge people to speak to their GP if they are experiencing diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort in the tummy area for three weeks or more.
In the television advert, which launches today, a man stands in his bathroom touching his tummy, and says: “Just a bit of tummy trouble.”
A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit and a pain or lump in your tummy are two red flag symptoms of bowel cancer. The disease is the UK’s fourth most common cancer, with around 42,000 new cases of the disease diagnosed in the UK every year.
Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, says: “We can’t say this strongly enough, if you have any symptoms of bowel cancer please don’t put off visiting your GP. They will want to see you.
Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, but it doesn’t have to be, as it’s treatable and curable, especially if it’s diagnosed early. So it’s really important that anybody with signs of the disease, including bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason and a pain or lump in your tummy, contacts their GP straight away.”
- Read more about the symptoms of bowel cancer