We urge people with bowel cancer symptoms to contact their GP without delay
There has been a big fall in the numbers of people being referred by their GPs for investigation into potential cancer symptoms.
Across the UK, urgent suspected cancer referrals, commonly known in England and Wales as the two week wait, are down by between 70-75%. That means three out of four people who would normally be going to their GPs with symptoms, are staying away.
We’re concerned that people may be putting their health at risk if they don’t get worrying symptoms checked out.
Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK said: “We understand that people don’t want to burden the NHS at this time of crisis, or are worried about catching coronavirus by leaving the house, but if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer please contact your GP as soon as possible.
The NHS has advised GPs to continue to refer people with suspected cancers as normal. Many GP practices are offering phone and video appointments so you can still access support from home. Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but it’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Don’t wait another day, it could save your life.”
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer with more than 42,000 people diagnosed every year in the UK. People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread.
The symptoms of bowel cancer can include 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.