If you didn’t know we’re walking the Coast to Coast route across England for charity. It’s going to be a gruelling task and we all have our own charities raise money and awareness for. Syd’s picked Bowel Cancer UK as one of his charities and as it’s Bowel Cancer Awareness next month and I lost my grandfather to Bowel Cancer, I’d like to share something. It’s important to know the symptoms and while it can’t bring anyone back, it can certainly aid prevention and early diagnosis. So thank you Syd, and I hope this article can make a difference to someone.
Risk FactorsWe don’t know what causes most bowel cancers, but we do know that some factors increase your risk of getting the disease. Some of these are things you can’t do anything about, for example, age and genetics. But you can make changes to your lifestyle to lower your risk of getting bowel cancer. You are more at risk of getting bowel cancer if you have one or more of the following risk factors. This doesn’t mean that you will definitely get bowel cancer. Equally, if you don’t have any risk factors, it doesn’t mean you can’t get bowel cancer.
- Aged over 50
- A strong family history of bowel cancer
- A history of non-cancerous growths (polyps) in your bowel
- Longstanding inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Type 2 diabetes
- An unhealthy lifestyle
Reducing your riskScientists think around half (54 per cent) of all bowel cancers could be prevented by having a healthier lifestyle. You can reduce your risk by:
- eating a healthier diet
- taking more exercise
- cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking