In Northern Ireland over 1,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer and over 400 people die from the disease each year, but if detected at a very early stage treatment for the cancer is 90% successful. With this in mind, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is hosting a bowel cancer screening stand at this year’s Balmoral Show to increase awareness of the screening programme and to encourage uptake by those eligible.
All men and women aged 60-71 years are eligible for screening but only one in every two people invited take part, so the Balmoral Show is a great opportunity to encourage eligible people to complete the screening test.
Staff from the PHA will be attending the show to answer queries or concerns people, particularly men, might have about taking the test. With an average of 70,000 people attending the show each year, it offers an excellent platform to provide information on the screening programme.
Dr Tracy Owen, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, PHA, said: “We would like to emphasise the importance of people taking the bowel cancer screening test when they receive it in the post. The stand at the Balmoral Show will allow us to engage with a large and diverse audience, making them aware of the importance of the programme and that taking the test could save your life.”
Those eligible for screening will receive a test kit in the post at the home address provided by their GP. It is therefore important that your GP has your most up-to-date address and correct date of birth or you may miss the chance to take part in the programme.
For further information on the screening programme and what it involves, visit www.cancerscreening.hscni.net
Contact the PHA press office on 028 9055 3663.