Paul Burstow MP writes… Let’s talk about poo

I never really thought I’d be giving interviews on the topic of poo, but that’s exactly what I was doing yesterday.

It’s all part of a drive to encourage more people than ever before to spot the signs of bowel cancer. So on Monday I launched the Government’s first ever national bowel cancer awareness campaign, in the hope that we can save lives across the country.

Of course, nobody actually wants to talk about poo, but we need to get over that little bit of embarrassment and make that trip to the GP.

At the moment, most of us aren’t aware of what the signs of bowel cancer are – so we’ll be spending £4.5 million on running TV, radio, online and newspaper ads from now until March as part of the Be Clear on Cancer campaign. Featuring real doctors, the adverts will encourage people who have had blood in their poo or loose poo for more than three weeks to see a doctor.

Every year 33,000 people in England are affected by bowel cancer, with most of the cases occurring in the over 55s. There are 13,000 deaths a year, but bowel cancer can be less deadly if spotted and diagnosed early. In fact, more than 90% of those diagnosed in the early stages of the disease survive for at least five years, compared to only 6% of those diagnosed at a later stage.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer and I’m proud that the Liberal Democrats are taking steps to address this problem. I want to make sure that embarrassment will never get in the way of people seeking the medical help they need to catch cancer early.

So the message is simple ‘don’t let embarrassment be the death of you’ – act on those signs and symptoms.

* Paul Burstow is Liberal Democrat candidate for Sutton and Cheam and was the MP until the dissolution of Parliament on 30th March.

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  • Paul, I can well imagine that you would want to talk about anything but the vandalism, your governemtn is inflicting on the NHS. I work in Social care and can see at first hand just what havoc is being wreaked on the service which was a national treasure. Its not just the ideas behind it are wrong headed, nobody is against choice or more efficiency. It is two things, the changes that are planned have nothing to do with either aim, and that they are now fatally confused by compromises, pauses and terrible communication. Please listen to what just about everyone is telling you and try to stop what is happening before all is lost for ever.

  • Tony Dawson 31st Jan '12 - 5:55pm

    So this was not a posting abut how the Tories’ NHS Bill has landed the Lib Dems ‘in the poo’? 😉

  • …r performance?

  • I am still getting my head around “telehealth”!

  • Richard Underhill 26th Dec '18 - 1:09pm

    The NHS is looking for high value things to do. Testing is much cheaper than treating sufferers. At my age I was in the range for testing. At other ages people can and should apply for tests. These are done at home by post. They promise not to tell your doctor, but I did. A “normal” outcome means that they did not detect any blood, which they clearly say is not completely reassuring. They repeat the process two years later.

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