Bowel Cancer Information Event At Fels Point Hotel Next Week

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KERRY General Hospital will hold a Bowel Cancer Information Event for the general public  on Monday, April 20 as  part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

Did you know that bowel cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women in Ireland?

Most people do not realise just how prevalent bowel cancer is (also known as colorectal cancer or colon cancer).  More than 2,200 people in Ireland are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year with the incidences of the disease increasing as people get older; the highest being amongst the 55 – 74 year age group.

However, younger people are also affected and should be aware of signs and symptoms and services available.

In order to raise the awareness of the disease, clinicians in Kerry General Hospital (KGH) are holding a free information session in the Fels Point Hotel Tralee at 7pm to 9.30pm on Monday, April 20.

This event is part of Bowel Cancer Awareness month (April 2015) and is supported by the Irish Cancer Society.

“Bowel cancer is very common but, unfortunately, most people are not aware of this type of cancer or, they are too embarrassed to talk about it,” said Mr. Kevin Murray, Surgeon at KGH.

“We are holding this information session to raise the awareness of the condition because, like all cancers, early diagnosis is vital. This is a very treatable form of cancer but it must be detected early.”

A number of clinicians from KGH with expertise in bowel cancer will speak at the free information event and discuss a range of topics including; signs and symptoms, who is affected, where to go for help, what happens after diagnosis and current and future treatments. Speakers include;

Mr. Kevin Murray – what is bowel cancer?
Mr. Brian Waldron – Bowel Cancer services at KGH;
Mr Eddie Myers – colorectal screening at KGH
Ms Theresa Walsh – Oncology Services at KGH
Dr. Jeffri Ismal – Bowel Cancer, What does it mean to your family;
Ms Denise Thornton – Stoma Care Services at KGH;
The Irish Cancer Society will attend and provide information on the day.

Denise Thornton, Clinical Nurse Specialist Colorectal/Stoma at KGH, encouraged people to come along to the free event, particularly if they have any concerns about their own health or that of a family member or friend.

“Many people initially feel quite anxious or embarrassed when referred to the clinic for a check-up. Typical comments that we hear from patients in the clinic include; ‘I was too embarrassed to see someone’, ‘I thought it was just piles’, ‘it’s not something that’s easy to talk about’, ‘I should have come earlier’. However, they are quickly put at their ease by the team who extremely professional and who have vast experience of this form of cancer,” said Ms Thornton.

There are a number of symptoms that people should be aware of and should get checked out by their GP if they have any concerns at all.  Symptoms might include changes in bowel habits i.e. from constipation to diarrhoea, pain or bleeding from the back passage or what might be thought to be piles or haemorrhoids.

People should also be aware if there is a history of bowel cancer or other cancers in their families as they may be more susceptible.

KGH has a specialist clinic to cater for people presenting with symptoms of bowel/colorectal cancer where they receive rapid and easy access to treatment following referral by their GP.

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