SOME 300 new bowel cancer patients are being treated each year in local hospitals, it emerged today.
They will be treated by medical teams at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Treatment may involve tests, surgery, chemotherapy or a combination.
And health experts say the chances of a good outcome are excellent if the cancer is detected early enough.
The statistics were revealed as a new awareness campaign was launched by the bowel cancer specialist nurses at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
They are spending next month helping the people spot the early symptoms of the disease.
April is annual Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and this year the emphasis is on being able to identify the symptoms early on so they can be checked out as soon as possible action.
Currently one in 10 people delay for more than a year before diagnosis.
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.”
The symptoms which need checking are:
Going to the toilet more frequently and bleeding from the bottom
Looser stools for up to 3 – 4 weeks
Bleeding without straining, pain or itching
Bleeding if aged between 50 – 60
A lump in the tummy felt by doctor or really severe stomach discomfort and pain.
The nurses have recruited some canine help. Spotty the dog is part of the awareness campaign run by TV presenter Lynn Faulds Wood who had advanced bowel cancer 18 years ago and survived.
People can reduce the risk by keeping a healthy weight, being physically active, eating a diet high in fibre and low in red and processed meat, cutting down on alcohol and not smoking.