Martin Whitfield MSP has supported this year’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and attended a drop-in event at Holyrood, hosted by Bowel Cancer UK.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Scotland with around 4,200 people diagnosed every year. Sadly, more than 1,700 people die from the disease each year, making it the second biggest cancer killer in Scotland but it shouldn’t be as it’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage. However, this drops significantly as the disease develops.

New findings released by Bowel Cancer UK for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month have revealed that nearly half of people (47%) in Scotland cannot name a single bowel cancer symptom. Early diagnosis is essential to improving bowel cancer outcomes and being able to recognise the symptoms and speaking to your GP when you feel something isn’t right, could save your life.

The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

Commenting on his support for Bowel Cancer UK’s efforts to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“I was delighted to attend Bowel Cancer UK’s awareness event at Holyrood and support their work raising awareness of the condition. Bowel cancer remains the second biggest cancer killer, but it shouldn’t be. That’s why I am working in Holyrood to help improve early diagnosis and save lives.”

Dr Lisa Wilde, Director of Research and External Affairs at Bowel Cancer UK, said:

Bowel cancer remains the second biggest cancer killer in Scotland, and it’s shocking that people aren’t aware of the symptoms to look out for. We’re delighted to have the support of Martin Whitfield who attended our event at Holyrood and who will help raise awareness of bowel cancer in South Scotland.

“If you notice any signs of bowel cancer, or if things just don’t feel right for you, please visit your GP. While the disease largely affects people over the age of 50, over 200 people under 50 are diagnosed each year in Scotland, so it’s really important people seek advice as soon as possible – whatever their age – if they’re worried.”

To find out more about bowel cancer, visit Bowel Cancer UK’s website: