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Over 400 cases every year and nearly 200 deaths means Cumbria is second worst in the North of England for bowel cancer.The Government is again launching a national ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign to raise awareness of the early symptoms of bowel cancer to help save lives.
In 2009 there were 430 cases of bowel cancer and in 2012, 172 people died of the condition.
These figures are the second highest in the North of England (not including the North West) after North Yorkshire and York.
Public awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer is low. But spotting the signs early and getting medical advice can help save people’s lives.
The key symptoms of bowel cancer are:
* Blood in poo for three weeks or more
* Looser poo for three weeks or more
Other symptoms include:
* A pain or lump in your tummy
* Feeling more tired than usual for some time
* Unexplained weight loss
People with symptoms are encouraged not to wait but to seek medical advice right away.
Dr Nigel Calvert is NHS Cumbria's Deputy Director of Public Health. She said: "Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK; yet most bowel cancers can be successfully treated if detected early enough.
"This campaign is all about reminding people what the early symptoms of bowel cancer are and hopefully will encourage people who are concerned to go and see their GP as early as possible.
“We know that people find talking about their poo embarrassing, but doctors are used to talking about these things and if it’s nothing serious your mind will be put at ease and if it is serious then the sooner you get treatment the better your chances of longer term survival.”