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HEALTH & BEAUTY


cancer, you can also have a PSA blood test to check for protein levels relating to prostate issues. The main thing to remember


is P for prostate, or pee:-needing to go more frequently, especially during the night; a sudden urge to go; difficulty starting, straining or a weak flow; and your bladder not feeling empty. These symptoms are not


usually present until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra and as a result should not be ignored. The unpleasant doctor’s examination will last much less time than the years an early diagnosis could add onto your life.


4. BOWEL The third screening programme


in the UK is for bowel cancer and both sexes are invited to carry out an FOB (faecal occult blood) test every two years in the comfort of their own homes between the ages of 60 and 74. While the thought of what’s


involved may sound like toilet talk, the quick test can detect bowel cancer before any symptoms appear, making any cases easier to treat. Before or in-between tests, take


note of the three main symptoms:- blood in your stools for no obvious reason; a change in your bowel habits such as looser stools or going more often; and lower tummy pain, bloating or discomfort caused by eating.


5. LUNGS Be Cancer Safe are also


highlighting the importance of spotting the signs of lung cancer which is also not currently screened for. If you have a cough that


doesn’t shift after three weeks or is getting worse, are constantly plagued by chest infections or are coughing up blood, see your GP. Other symptoms may be an ache or pain when breathing, breathlessness, lack of energy or loss of appetite.


While screening is a fantastic


health initiative in the UK, the Be Cancer Safe team are also urging people not to just wait for the letter to arrive in the post. Knowing your body and


what feels right or wrong for you can be a proactive way to help save your life, as Barnsley lady Barbara found out.


Barbara’s Story Barbara, 71, from


Wombwell, is a breast cancer survivor and one of Be Cancer Safe’s cancer champions. Back in December 2016,


Barbara experienced a pain in her nipple and, on checking her breast, found a lump. She was due to visit her GP


that month for a routine blood test on the 12th and so tried to make an appointment whilst there to discuss the lump. To her shock, she was offered the next available appointment on 25th January – five weeks later. A week later while collecting


her test results, Barbara insisted she be examined where the nurse checking her breast referred Barbara to the hospital for further tests. The following day, she


received a phone call from the hospital asking her to attend in a further two days for a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. Just after Christmas,


Barbara was dealt the devastating blow that the lump was indeed an aggressive and fast developing stage three tumour. On 18th January 2017,


a week before her initial GP appointment was booked in for, the tumour was removed along with two lymph nodes. Barbara then had six months of intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy to be sure the cancer had fully gone. Had she not recognised


something was wrong in her body and insisted on being examined, the ending could have been very different. “Don’t be fobbed off, you


cannot afford to lose precious time with this disease. Women like me over 70 are not sent screening invitations but we are still at risk. You’re not wasting anyone’s time. “I consider myself lucky to


be alive and urge all women to attend breast screening, visit their GP at the first sign of symptoms and check themselves regularly. I’ve been given a second chance to enjoy my family and now want to support other women to have the confidence to do the same.”


For the Be Cancer Safe team,


Less than an hour of your time could save your life as in the case of Rotherham lady Edna.


Edna’s story Cancer champion


Edna, 71 from Rotherham underwent surgery for bowel cancer last December after a routine bowel screening test discovered the cancer. Having always


participated in the bowel screening programme, the 30 minute test saved Edna’s life this time round as she had been showing no symptoms.


She is now urging others


not to throw the package in the bin when it lands on the doorstep and be more proactive when it comes to health. While not everyone will have a cancer diagnosis like Edna, she says even having peace of mind is worth doing the test for. “I’m living proof of the


value and importance of screening and if I had presented symptoms six months later then the outcome could have been different. Never be too busy, make time and be well and remember there is nothing to fear. To quote: ‘a bit of muck spreading is all it needs.’”


their main mission is hope – hope that the many wonderful cancer champions working alongside them will inspire even just a handful of people to take their health seriously so they too can hope for a better future. That would be job well done.


For more information about Be Cancer Safe, join in the conversation on Facebook by searching Be Cancer Safe – Rotherham Barnsley or visit their website: www.varotherham.org.uk/ be-cancer-safe


AND REMEMBER, THINK SAFE


SCREENING – Go do it! AWARENESS – Know the signs and symptoms FAST – Get to your GP EARLY – Improve survival


Free National Helplines


Bowel Cancer - 0800 707 60 60 Breast Cancer Care - 0808 800 6000


aroundtownmagazine.co.uk 15


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