Falkirk FC aims to score against bowel cancer

Falkirk Football Club is taking a life-saving message about bowel cancer straight to the terraces ahead of today's home game against St Mirren.

Volunteers from charity Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer will be handing out pocket-sized guides listing facts about the deadly disease and how to minimise the risk of getting it.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer and third most common cancer in Scotland, and every year more than 3,700 people are diagnosed and around 1,600 people die from the disease.

However it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

NHS Health Promotion Officer and charities volunteer Margaret-Anne McMillan, who will be among those spreading the key message to fans today, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity provided by Falkirk Football Club for NHS Forth Valley, Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer to promote good bowel health and the importance of screening.”

Kieran Koszary, executive director at Falkirk Football Club, said: “We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic charity on Saturday, as we aim once more to use the power of our football club to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

“This disease is the third most common cancer in Scotland and if this partnership and event raises awareness to even one of our supporters then it will be extremely worthwhile.”

Ross Lamb, Health Promotion and Training Coordinator at Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Falkirk Football Club to raise awareness of bowel cancer to their fans.

“Just below a third of adults in Scotland are not able to name a single bowel cancer symptom, but knowing these symptoms and acting on them could save your life.”

Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer, but this drops significantly as the disease develops.

The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

• Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your faeces.

• A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit

• Unexplained weight loss

• Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

• A pain or lump in your stomach.

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, as other health problems can cause similar symptoms - but if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, you’re should see your GP.

For more detailed information on bowel cancer symptoms visit:bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/symptoms/ and beatingbowelcancer.org/understanding-bowel-cancer/symptoms/