World Digestive Health Day

29 May, 2020

This World Digestive Health Day – Love your gut!

May 29 is World Digestive Health Day. This day was created in 2003 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the World Gastroenterology Organisation. World Digestive Health Day’s aim is 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 is emphasizing gastrointestinal cancers with the slogan ‘Love your gut!’ and the hashtag #WDHD2020.

The aim of this year’s campaign is to raise awareness for the early diagnosis and treatment of GI cancer 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.

Vials of blood sitting on bloody work paperwork

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 of early detection as they can identify individuals who may have abnormalities associated with certain types of cancers, even without any noticeable symptoms being present. This 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 early 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, then you should see your GP immediately and don’t wait for screening.

Can I do to minimise my cancer risk?

Fortunately, only a small percentage of cancers are due to inherited genes, and this means there are lots of 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.

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