Leading charity urges people to take part in bowel cancer screening

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Bowel Cancer UK logo new2016 marks the ten year anniversary of the introduction of bowel cancer screening in the UK. Bowel Cancer UK is urging people during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to spread the word among their family, friends and colleagues to take part in screening.


Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer yet it’s a disease which is often overlooked and diagnosed too late.   Every year over 41,000 people (one every 15 minutes) are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 16,200 people die of the disease.

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (and its equivalent in each of the home nations) can detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms when it is easier to treat. Since its launch 10 years ago, it has been proven to save lives.  If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60-74 (50-74 in Scotland), you will receive a test in the post every two years. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer screening can save lives but at the moment in some areas of England only a third of those who receive a test complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the chance to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat.

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said, “One in 14 men and one in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime but it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer. However, this drops significantly as the disease develops. Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early.  If you are over 60 (or 50 in Scotland), take the test when you receive it in the post. If you are younger, tell the people over 60 (over 50 in Scotland) in your life to take the test.”

A number of celebrities are also supporting Bowel Cancer UK’s call for people to take part in screening, including ITV News presenter Charlene White, Lynda Bellingham’s husband, Michael Pattemore, former England cricketer Chris Read and actor Ben Richards.

For further information see: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/


World Health Day – 7 April 2016

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

This year the theme for World Health Day is Diabetes.


Set up by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – World Health Day focusses on an area of global public health concern.

World Health Day 2016: Key messages

WHO is focusing on diabetes because:

  • The diabetes epidemic is rapidly increasing in many countries, with the documented increase most dramatic in low- and middle-income countries.
  • A large proportion of diabetes cases are preventable. Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes is treatable. It can be controlled and managed to prevent complications. Increasing access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment are vital components of the response.
  • Efforts to prevent and treat diabetes will be important to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal 3 target of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030. Many sectors of society have a role to play, including governments, employers, educators, manufacturers, civil society, private sector, the media and individuals themselves.

Campaign goals

The main goals of the World Health Day 2016 campaign will be to:

  • Increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries;
  • Trigger a set of specific, effective and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. These will include steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes; and
  • Launch the first Global report on diabetes, which will describe the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocate for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention, and more effective management of diabetes

Further Information

For more information about World Health Day see the WHO website: http://bit.ly/1RbVsEf

For general information about Diabetes see Diabetes UK  http://bit.ly/1RGSVhL and Diabetes.co.uk http://bit.ly/1W5mWvo



Gut friendly Easter treats

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Easter is here and you have decided to be good for your health and your gut by not eating too many eggs this year. The good news is that Easter doesn’t have to be boring as we have created a healthier alternative to Easter eggs for you to enjoy! These Easter eggs are made using grapes and dark chocolate and are therefore lower in fat and sugar than standard mini Easter eggs.




Mini Easter Eggs


500g red seedless grapes

125g dark chocolate

2 handfuls of almonds


  • Separate the grapes from their stalks and place into a bowl.
  • Crush the almonds in a food processor, place into a bowl.
  • Heat a small amount of water in a saucepan and put a heat proof bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure it doesn’t touch the water.
  • Break the chocolate into pieces and put in the bowl on top of the saucepan.
  • Sir the chocolate with a wooden spoon occasionally until it melts.
  • Remove the chocolate from the heat.
  • Using a cocktail stick dip each grape into the melted chocolate making sure it’s well covered, then dip the chocolate covered egg into the bowl of crushed almonds.
  • Place the eggs on a baking tray and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the fridge and enjoy!


These mini Easter eggs are a tasty alternative that are so quick and easy to make. You could even get really creative and go all out with the decorating. Happy Easter!


Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month 1-31 March 2016

Monday, March 14th, 2016

In the UK, 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. Survival rates from ovarian cancer are low, only 46% of women survive the disease 5 years after they have been diagnosed. One of the key explanations for poor survival from ovarian cancer is late stage diagnosis. There is currently no national screening programme in place for ovarian cancer and the disease is often diagnosed with the patient presenting symptoms to their GP. Therefore, it’s really important that we understand the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer to increase the likelihood of getting an earlier diagnosis. The symptoms below will be frequent (i.e. will happen more than 12 times per month) and/or persistent and new (i.e. they are not normal for you and may have started in the last year).

  • Persistent abdominal pain.
  • Persistent abdominal bloating.
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly.
  • Needing to pass urine more often than usual.
  • Other symptoms including: changes in bowel habits, weight loss, post-menopausal bleeding and extreme fatigue.

Target Ovarian Cancer, the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity has developed a ‘Symptoms Diary’ app to enable women to record their symptoms accurately and communicate more effectively with their GP. The app can be downloaded through their website, where many other useful resources can also be found.


The Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology – new campaign & website re-launch

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Love Your Gut partner the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology (PCSG) is the voice of primary care gastroenterology.The Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology

Gastrointestinal and digestive disorders account for 1 in 10 consultations in primary care and the same proportion of referrals to specialists. The costs of investigations and prescribing for gastrointestinal complaints are considerable.

Decisions about commissioning and clinical governance in gastroenterology require primary care input and national policy in gastroenterology also needs to be informed by GPs and their community based colleagues. The PCSG is ideally placed to provide educational resources, advice and support through consultation with committee members and dialogue with its’ large and experienced membership.Richard Stevens


The newly designed website now features a blog by Dr Richard Stevens – the PCSG Chair.  In his first blog Dr Stevens highlights the organisation’s plans to launch a campaign ‘Think GI Cancer’ later this year to ty to improve outcomes for gastroenterological cancers and the importance of ‘joined up services’ in the NHS between primary and secondary care providers.


For further information about the PCSG please see: http://www.pcsg.org.uk/




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