Today, NHS England and NHS Improvement, together with Public Health England, are launching the ‘Abdominal Cancers’ phase of the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign, to highlight that persistent tummy troubles could be signs of cancer. The campaign encourages people who have been suffering from diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort in the tummy area for three weeks or more to speak to their GP.
Persistent tummy troubles can be signs of a number of cancers, including bowel, ovarian or pancreatic cancer. Around 84,0003 people are diagnosed with abdominal cancers in England each year but people who are suffering with symptoms may be reluctant to visit their GP; they may be embarrassed about their symptoms, or concerned that they might be wasting their doctor’s time, or they may just put their tummy troubles down to getting older.
In addition, people may be concerned that they will be a burden to the NHS who are also dealing with COVID-19. The campaign reminds people that the NHS has adapted its services and can still see patients safely.
While it’s probably nothing serious, any of these symptoms could be a sign of something that needs treatment. If it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable and can save lives.
Visit nhs.uk/cancersymptoms for more information.