Spot the signs early urge cancer nurses

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A MASCOT for bowel cancer awareness visited specialist nurses at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

Spotty the Dog joined colo-rectal nurses to kick off bowel cancer awareness month in April to help people spot the early symptoms of the disease.

The mascot fronts a campaign run by TV presenter Lynn Faulds Wood who had advanced bowel cancer 18 years ago and survived.

Currently one in 10 people delay seeking help for more than a year before diagnosis. Around 300 new patients with bowel cancer every year are treated by the teams at the trust’s two hospitals.

Treatment may involve tests, surgery, chemotherapy or a combination but the chances of a good outcome are excellent with early detection.

Specialist nurse Michelle Speight said: “Being able to spot important symptoms might just save your life.

“It is an area that people might not like to talk about or read about but being aware can be a lifesaver - it is as simple as that.

“It is also important to remember that most symptoms won’t turn out to be cancer but they still need to be checked out as soon as possible.”

Symptoms include: going to the toilet more frequently, bleeding from the bottom and looser stools for up to three to four weeks, unexplained anaemia, severe stomach discomfort or pain.