This World Digestive Health Day – Love your gut!
May 29 is World Digestive Health Day. WDH day was created in 2003 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of establishing the World Gastroenterology Organisation. World Digestive Health Day aims to raise awareness and provide resources and tools for gastrointestinal diseases and disorders.
Every year a specific campaign or theme is chosen for World Digestive Health Day. This year, the campaign emphasises gastrointestinal cancers with the slogan ‘Love your gut!’ and the hashtag #WDHD2020.
This year’s campaign aims to raise awareness for GI cancer’s early diagnosis and treatment through its annual public advocacy and awareness campaign.
In recognition of WDHD, Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease have compiled a list of seven updates on topics involving GI cancers, including a video-based polypectomy training tool. Click here to check out the updates.
The Importance of Early Detection
The overall 5-year survival rate for bowel cancer is 65%; however, this can increase to 90% if it is detected early enough!
For this result, screening is a crucial factor in early detection. It can identify individuals who may have abnormalities associated with certain cancers, even without any noticeable symptoms. These measures can help to detect bowel cancer at an earlier stage when it is easier to treat.
One of the quickest and easiest ways of screening is the faecal occult blood (FOB) test. The NHS sends out these free home test kits, known as the faecal occult blood (FOB) test, every two years to individuals aged 60 – 74 as a simple way of screening for bowel cancer. This test is easy and non-invasive as all it requires is a stool sample! If you are offered the test by your GP, then there really is no excuse not to take it. In some areas of the UK, screening with bowel scope tests begins as early as 55 years of age. If you have any concerns or think you may be experiencing any symptoms, you should see your GP immediately and not wait for screening.
Can I do to minimise my cancer risk?
Fortunately, only a small percentage of cancers are due to inherited genes, which means there are many things you can do to reduce your risk and keep yourself healthy.
- Limit your intake of processed meats
- Increase your fibre intake
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
- Be physically active
- Stop smoking
If you would like more information or support, check out MacMillan Cancer Support for advice and information.