Brighton and Hove Albion’s charity arm is encouraging Seagulls fans to spend the equivalent of a half-time interval learning the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.
As part of its Speak Up Against Cancer campaign, Albion in the Community (AITC) has linked up with the Know the Score charity to raise awareness of the early warning signs of the condition, and volunteers will be at this Saturday’s Albion game talking to supporters.
There are 41,000 people diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK – that is 10,000 more people than will be attending this weekend’s Seagulls game; the national annual figure includes 140 people from Brighton and Hove.
However, if detected early, more than 90 per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated.
Signs and symptoms include blood in your stools, stomach pain, weight loss for no obvious reason, a persistent change in bowel habit and experiencing a feeling that you haven’t emptied your bowel properly after going to the toilet.
Sue Brown, the charity’s cancer health co-ordinator, said: “Bowel cancer can affect anyone, young or old. It is vital that people are able to recognise the early warning signs and I would urge Albion fans to spend 15 minutes on our website familiarising themselves with the symptoms. That is only the same length as half-time at a football game, but it could end up saving your life. If you are worried, don’t hesitate - visit your GP.”
Speak Up Against Cancer volunteer Charlie Foster was diagnosed at the age of 31 and knows from experience how important it is to take action. He said: “I had noticed blood in my stool and I was aware that my father and his father both had bowel cancer in their 40s, yet still hesitated getting myself checked out on the basis that I was in no pain, and my appetite and weight were stable. I had convinced myself that I was just too young to have bowel cancer.
“I was fortunate, as the cancer was caught early. I am now a strong advocate for acting quickly. A full physical recovery can be made in a matter of months following surgery.”
For more information, visit: www.speakupagainstcancer.org