Toxic relationships: ‘Why walking away from my mum was the best thing I could have done’
Toxic relationships: ‘Why walking away from my mum was the best thing I could have...

Amanda Cassidy

This Dublin home with an incredible reading room is on the market for €1.45 million
This Dublin home with an incredible reading room is on the market for €1.45 million

Megan Burns

These are the six best cinemas in Ireland
These are the six best cinemas in Ireland

Sarah Finnan

7 fun wedding reception games to get everyone in the party mood
7 fun wedding reception games to get everyone in the party mood

Lauren Heskin

‘I still cry for him and the life we planned together. It was all taken away in an instant’
‘I still cry for him and the life we planned together. It was all taken...

Amanda Cassidy

Inside the Greek holiday resort that’s all over celebrity Instagram right now
Inside the Greek holiday resort that’s all over celebrity Instagram right now

Amanda Cassidy

3-Step LUSH (and healthy) carrot cake pancakes for the brunch of your dreams
3-Step LUSH (and healthy) carrot cake pancakes for the brunch of your dreams

Sophie White

Marianne Smyth, aka @smythsisters, picks 42 summer staples
Marianne Smyth, aka @smythsisters, picks 42 summer staples

Holly O'Neill

10 brilliant binge-worthy royal TV series and films worth watching (that aren’t The Crown)
10 brilliant binge-worthy royal TV series and films worth watching (that aren’t The Crown)

Jennifer McShane

Food trucks and coffee carts are having a moment – here are 16 of the best
Food trucks and coffee carts are having a moment – here are 16 of the...

Sarah Finnan

Image / Editorial

Bowel cancer: More than 2,700 people are diagnosed in Ireland every year


by Grace McGettigan
05th Nov 2019

Bowel cancer in Ireland

blank

Bowel cancer in Ireland

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Ireland, affecting more than 2,700 people every year. Here we look at the importance of knowing the symptoms and getting checked


“I miss him very much…”

Gavin Haywood recently lost his best friend and business partner, Mark Bradley, to bowel cancer.

The disease, which is also known as colon or rectal cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer in Ireland; affecting more than 2,700 people every year. Having learned first-hand how devastating the illness can be, Gavin wants to raise as much awareness for bowel cancer as possible.

With regular screening, bowel cancer can be easily detected – and the sooner it’s detected, the more successful treatment will be.

Bowel cancer

While the exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown, research shows there is an increased risk among people who eat a diet high in fats and low in fruit, vegetables and fibre.

Your risk of developing the illness is also higher if you are obese or overweight, if you have a family history of bowel cancer, or if you’re over the age of 60. That being said, bowel cancer can affect younger people too.

What’s more, bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may also be contributing factors.

According to the Irish Cancer Society, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include maintaining a healthy diet (as well as limiting your intake of red meat and increasing your intake of fibre), increasing your level of physical activity, reducing alcohol consumption and becoming aware of your family history.

Not only that, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and to contact your GP if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

Symptoms

According to the Health Service Executive (the HSE), more than 90% of people with bowel cancer will experience one (or more) of the following symptoms:

– Blood in your faeces or bleeding from the back passage
– A persistent change in bowel habit (lasting more than a month), such as diarrhoea or constipation
– Feeling that you have not emptied your bowel fully after a motion
– Pain or discomfort in your stomach or back passage
– Trapped wind or fullness in your tummy, which in turn may make you eat less
– Weight loss for no reason

The HSE also notes that some symptoms of bowel cancer can be indicative of other conditions (besides bowel cancer). “You should talk to your GP if they persist for more than four weeks, regardless of their severity or your age,” it says.

Screening

In Ireland, everyone aged between 60-69 is eligible for a free bowel cancer screening.

“This involves taking a sample of your poo with an easy-to-use home testing kit,” says the HSE. “You return the kit to us and we test your sample for the presence of blood.”

As this screening service can help detect bowel cancer before symptoms appear (making it easier to treat and improving the chances of survival), it’s important that all people who are eligible for the screening do so.

Private bowel screenings are also available to people in Ireland. In a video about the loss of his friend Mark, Gavins says, “I got tested right after Mark had his diagnosis. My test came back negative. With 50% of the population having some form of cancer, it’s madness not to get tested now.”

For more information, visit letsgetchecked.com.

Watch Gavin’s video in full below:

Photo: Gavin Haywood via LetsGetChecked 


Read more: Do you know how to check your moles properly?

Read more: Breast cancer awareness: how to check your breasts at home

Read more: Ovarian cancer: Know the facts

Also Read

rings
EDITORIAL
Rings that help you draw attention to your newly manicured nails

Rings to help you flaunt your fresh mani? Non-negotiables. Nail salons reopened their doors to the public earlier this week...

By Sarah Finnan

Britta Baranowsky The Flowerfield
EDITORIAL
Happy World Bee Day: These are the best bee-friendly flowers to plant right now

Attracting bees to your outdoor patch is a cinch, with a little forward-planning. We speak to two flower growers in...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Suddenly alive again’: The heartbreaking joy of finding a deceased loved one on Google Maps street view

“I look at my mum’s old house on Google maps street view, the house where I grew up. It says...

By Amanda Cassidy

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

Sleep cycle during Covid-19
EDITORIAL
How to get your sleep schedule back on track during lockdown, according to a sleep technologist

Many of us are struggling to maintain a healthy sleep cycle during Covid-19, explains sleep technologist Breege Leddy. But there are...

By Katie Byrne

blank
EDITORIAL
Emerging after the pandemic: ‘There’s an awkwardness to my interactions, like I’ve forgotten how to socialise’

In just a few months, human contact became one of the most feared gestures. Being around people we loved was...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
CULTURE
Reality Bites: TV shows like Love Island are warping our minds

It may be the most unifying show on television, but shows like Love Island are promoting some pretty damaging messages....

By Amanda Cassidy