Beating bowel cancer

Charity offers range of support materials for the workplace to help early
diagnosis of bowel cancer

Occupational health departments in the UK have been invited to take part in
a pioneering experiment to prove the usefulness and relevance of giving health
advice through the workplace. Director of Beating Bowel Cancer Lynn Faulds-Wood
joined Dr Stuart Whitaker, head of the health services research unit at the
Institute of Occupational Health, Birmingham University, to present a lively
and compelling case for the merits of screening the workforce for bowel cancer.

Faulds-Wood is one of the most high-profile recent victims of this common
disease: more than 30,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK and most of
them, more than 18,500 people, die. She is lucky to be alive after a very late
diagnosis of what is an eminently treatable condition if caught early enough.
Beating Bowel Cancer, the charity that she gave up her career to become
director of, is now helping to set up better diagnostic training programmes for
doctors and nurses, as early diagnosis is the key to saving the lives of many
sufferers.

The exercise that occupational health nurses are being invited to take part
in, known as Project 2000, is designed to raise awareness of bowel cancer
through the workplace. It consists of a series of questionnaires to be filled
in by employees that will measure their knowledge of bowel cancer before and
after they are exposed to information about the disease in a workplace setting.

"It’s our chance to show that when we get involved in health promotion
we do it properly," said Whitaker.

Support materials will be produced, from occupational health nurse manuals
about the prevention, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the disease, to
leaflets, posters and newsletter articles. If you would like your occupational
health department to be one of hundreds across the UK taking part in the
project you can send your contact details to: Beating Bowel Cancer, 39 Crown
Road, St Margarets, Twickenham, TW1 3EJ. Tel 020-8892 0171, fax 020-8892 1008,
e-mail info@beatingbowelcancer.org.

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