03:51PM, Tuesday 31 March 2015
A consultant from a Windsor hospital says spotting the signs of bowel cancer early could save your life.
Gisella Salerno, consultant colorectal surgeon at BMI Princess Margaret Hospital in Osborne Road, says people need to be aware of what feels normal, and act as quickly as possible if they recognise changes in their bowel habits.
The call comes ahead of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, which will be running throughout April. The disease is the UK's second biggest cancer killer and claims 16,000 lives a year.
But figures released by Cancer Research UK revealed nine out of 10 people could survive for more than five years if bowel cancer is spotted at its earliest stage.
Gisella said: "A change in your bowel habits that lasts for three weeks or more and blood in your poo are warning signs that need acting upon as soon as possible."
She added that people should consult their GP if they experience unexplained weight loss and tiredness, stomach pains or a lump in the stomach.
The profile of bowel cancer was raised in the media last year after inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton died of the disease in May last year.
Nick Bason, head of communications at Bowel Cancer UK, said people could reduce the risk of bowel cancer by making some simple lifestyle choices.
His top tips included stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, exercising reguarly, eating healthily and watching your weight.
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