Stop Smoking for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Published at 01 April, 2019 10:06.

Supporting image for Stop Smoking for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that, in the UK, somebody is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes?

Yorkshire Smokefree support Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and we’re proud to raise awareness of the cause. Whether you’re young or old, male or female, bowel cancer can affect us all.

So, what is bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer. However, it is treatable and curable. For the most part, bowel cancer develops from pre-cancerous growths called polyps, which don’t normally cause any symptoms. These polyps are usually found during a colonoscopy or bowel cancer screening programme. While not all polyps will develop into cancer, removing them can lower the risk of the development of bowel cancer.

Who is at risk?

There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of developing bowel cancer:

  • If you are older, as the risk of bowel cancer increases with age
  • If you have a family history of bowel cancer, or of polyps in your bowel
  • If you have inflammatory bowel disease
  • If you lead an unhealthy lifestyle drink a lot of alcohol and

 What are the symptoms?

More than 90% of people with bowel cancer have one of the following combinations of symptoms:

  • a persistent change in bowel habit – going more often, with looser stools and sometimes tummy (abdominal) pain
  • blood in the stools without other piles (haemorrhoids) symptoms – this makes it unlikely the cause is haemorrhoids
  • abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating – sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss

(Information courtesy of NHS England)

 So, how does smoking fit in?

Each time you smoke, you are increasing your risk of developing bowel cancer. This is because, during smoking, you are inhaling dangerous toxins and chemicals into your body. These chemicals then damage your DNA and mutate the healthy cells in your body, and can cause the development of polyps, which we know could turn into cancer if not discovered.

With an estimated 7% of bowel cancer cases in the UK linked to tobacco smoking – is it worth it?

Reduce your risk & start your quit journey today with Yorkshire Smokefree!

Give us a call today to find out more about our services, or to simply chat to a member of our friendly team - 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0330 660 1166 (free from most mobiles). Alternatively, arrange a free callback with one of our advisors; simply complete the form here.

To find out more about bowel cancer, visit the Bowel Cancer UK website now.