Walk-through colon raises awareness of bowel cancer in Shoreham

Charles Cushing strongly urges everyone who is invited to be screened to do so
Charles Cushing strongly urges everyone who is invited to be screened to do so

SHOPPERS will be invited to walk through an inflatable colon at a health event to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

The eye-catching inflatable will be at the Holmbush Shopping Centre in Shoreham on Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, along with local health professionals.

They will be talking to shoppers about bowel cancer, the signs and symptoms, and how people can be more cancer-aware.

Charles Cushing, 61, from Shoreham, discovered the value of bowel cancer screening when he was diagnosed with cancer last year, having completed the test.

He said: “Without the screening programme, I would not have known about my cancer and the prognosis may well have been considerably less positive.

“There is a natural inclination not to discuss these things, but the test is completely painless and could well save your life.

“I would strongly urge everyone who is invited to be screened to do so; the results will either put your mind at rest or enable quick action to be taken.

“My family and I are so grateful that the screening meant my tumour was found and removed, and I can look forward to seeing my grandchildren grow up.”

Mr Cushing is a volunteer with Albion in the Community’s ABC Campaign, which is organising the health awareness event in partnership with doctors, NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG, Macmillan Cancer Support and the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.

Dr Shamim Taherzadeh, Macmillan GP at Northbourne Medical Centre, said: “Bowel cancer can be treated very successfully when caught early so it’s vital that people recognise the symptoms and always take a screening test when it’s offered.

“We hope shoppers at Holmbush will be intrigued by our inflatable colon and will take a few moments to walk through it, to look at the information it contains, and to find out more about bowel cancer – it could save their lives.”

For some time, Adur GPs have been working to raise awareness about the importance of screening and encouraging patients to complete their tests.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK.

Early detection and simple treatment can remove the cancer completely, however, every year many of the hundreds of men and women in the county who are offered a screening test risk their health by not taking up the offer.