Bowel Cancer: Health Education

Health written question – answered at on 3 May 2011.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to provide information to the public on the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow The Minister of State, Department of Health

We launched pilots for the first ever national public awareness campaign for bowel cancer in January 2011. The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign was piloted in the east of England and in the south-west of England. It ran for seven weeks to raise awareness of the key signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and to encourage people with these symptoms to go to their general practitioners. The campaign ended on 18 March 2011 and, subject to evaluation and lessons learned, it will be rolled out nationwide.

Information on the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer is included with every invitation to take part in the NHS bowel cancer screening programme. Three million men and women aged 60 to 69 are invited to participate in screening every two years, and the programme is currently being extended to men and women aged up to 75.

The Department has worked with health professionals, patient groups and the voluntary sector to produce key messages for bowel cancer. These are available on the NHS Choices website at:

The Department encourages charities and other stakeholders to use them widely in awareness raising activities.

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