SCARBOROUGH people are being encouraged to join the fight against bowel cancer by becoming more aware of the symptoms.
NHS North Yorkshire and York, in collaboration with the Yorkshire Cancer Network, has launched a campaign aimed at improving early diagnosis of cancer.
Organisers are encouraging people who have blood in their stools, or who have found they have been looser for three weeks or more, to seek advice from their GP.
A recent study of more than 1,500 people found that many did not know that lifestyle factors such as diet, weight and exercise affected risk.
The research also raised concerns around the lack of knowledge about symptoms.
Dr Martin Hawkings, Public Health Consultant for NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: “Significant numbers of deaths could be avoided if cancer survival in Britain matched that of other parts of Europe.
“Bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer deaths in the UK.
“Nationally, it’s estimated that up to 10,000 deaths within five years of diagnosis of cancer could be avoided if people were more aware of the signs and got them checked out.
“Embarrassment is often a key barrier to people getting symptoms checked, but I’d like to reassure people that all GPs in the area are aware of the campaign.”