KEIGHLEY people are being urged to be aware of the signs of bowel cancer.

The disease is the UK’s fourth most common form of cancer.

But charity Macmillan Cancer Support says it is also very treatable.

And the earlier it’s diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.

The plea has been issued as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

Sue Green, senior information development nurse at Macmillan, said: “Knowing what changes to look for and when to see your doctor could make a real difference.

“Don’t be scared or embarrassed and don’t ignore possible symptoms. Get them checked.

“The symptoms could be caused by conditions other than bowel cancer, but you should always have them checked by your doctor – don’t try to diagnose yourself.

“If you do have cancer, the sooner it’s found the more likely it is to be successfully treated.”

Symptoms can include:

• blood in or on your poo, or bleeding from the rectum. The blood may be bright red or dark

• a change in your normal bowel habit, such as diarrhoea or constipation, that happens for no obvious reason and lasts longer than three weeks

• unexplained weight loss

• pain in your abdomen or back passage

• a feeling that you have not emptied your bowel properly after you poo

• unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness

• anaemia

Macmillan says that whilst nearly half of new cases of bowel cancer in recent years have been in the 75-and-over age group, the disease can affect people of all ages – and men and women.

The charity offers a range of help and support.

Last year, its mobile cancer information and support service visited venues across West Yorkshire.

Macmillan says it experienced a rise in enquiries, and ‘reached’ over 8,700 people in the region.

The unit offered a range of free information materials as well as a private area for sensitive conversations.

For more details about the charity and its services, including support groups, call free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit

A short film about bowel cancer signs and symptoms can be viewed at

Further information about the mobile service and when it is next in this area can be found at