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Tummy troubles the target of new NHS campaign for east of England

A new Help Us, Help You campaign has been launched by the NHS to encourage those with persistent tummy troubles to contact their GP and get checked for cancer.

The campaign, which has been launched across the east of England by the NHS, is targeting those who have experienced recurring diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort in the tummy area.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England said: “Far too many of us ignore what our body is trying to tell us. We say to ourselves it’s nothing really, we don’t want to make a fuss.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn. (45391605)
Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn. (45391605)

"But if you’re getting persistent stomach problems it may be a sign of cancer, possibly bowel, kidney or ovarian cancer. It’s so important you find out for sure as early as possible. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

"Be positive, take control of your health, get in touch with your GP. Our NHS has adapted its services and can see you safely.”

Figures show 9,641 people across the east of England are diagnosed with cancers in the abdominal area every year, which includes ovarian, kidney and bowel cancers.

Now the campaign is urging anyone across the east to speak to their GP if they have experienced these symptoms for three weeks or more as they could be a sign of cancer.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care for NHS England, said: “If you or a loved one has one of these symptoms, please don’t ignore them. Our message to you is clear – you are not a burden and we are here to safely treat you so please don’t delay – help us help you and come forward as you usually would for care.

“Cancer is easier to treat when it is caught at an earlier stage and so coming forward for a check could save your life.”

Hospitals have put in place extensive measures to ensure patients can be safely tested and treated during the pandemic by rolling out COVID-protected hubs across the country.

Dr Philippa Kaye, media medic, GP and diagnosed with bowel cancer: “As both a GP and someone who has had bowel cancer myself, I have seen the situation from both sides and can honestly say, if you’re experiencing any tummy troubles for a few weeks, your GP will want to know about it.

"Hopefully it’s nothing serious but if it is cancer there are lots of treatment options available and the earlier cancer is found, the better.

"I know that some of my patients are nervous to come to my clinic because of coronavirus, but the NHS has put measures in place to ensure we can see you safely. So please, come and see us.”

Visit www.nhs.uk/cancersymptoms for more information.

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