The borough’s Public Health Department have launched their Annual Report to coincide with the first ever national bowel cancer campaign – Be clear on cancer. The report focuses on preventing and diagnosing cancers in Wandsworth.
In Wandsworth cancer is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 75 and these figures are on the up compared to the rest of the country. Lung cancer is the main cause in men, whilst 1 in 5 women who die of cancer have breast cancer and another 1 in 5 die of lung cancer.
Director of Public Health for Wandsworth, Houda Al-Sharifi, said: “Over the coming years we will use every opportunity we have to raise awareness of the symptoms of cancer as well as help people improve their lifestyles when they want to.
“Over half the population in Wandsworth has had a family member with cancer, however recent studies show that 40% of cancer deaths can be prevented by leading a healthier lifestyle. Stopping smoking is one of the most important things a person can do followed by improving their diet, controlling their weight and drinking more moderately.”
Another important message from the report and from the Be clear on cancer campaign is that recognising the symptoms of cancer and getting diagnosed early is very important. The earlier someone sees their GP with symptoms the better chance of survival they have. In Wandsworth we could save 28 additional lives each year by reducing delays in diagnosis (Department of Health 2011).
Visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk to read the full annual report and our top ten tips to beating cancer.
The first NHS national bowel cancer symptom awareness campaign runs until the end of March 2012. The campaign advertisements feature on TV and the radio and in other national media. The campaign message is that 'loose poo' and 'blood in poo' for more than three weeks can be symptoms of bowel cancer and anyone with these symptoms should visit their doctor; and that catching cancer early makes it more treatable. Visit www.nhs.uk/bowelcancer
10 top tips for preventing cancer
1. Stop smoking and avoid second hand smoke - it’s never too late to stop.
2. Eat well - eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and increase your fibre intake, limit red meat, processed food and salt.
3. Maintain a healthy weight.
4. Take regular exercise - avoid sedentary behaviour by being physically active every day.
5. Drink moderately - limit your alcohol intake.
6. Be safe in the sun and avoid tanning salons – protect yourself and take care not to burn.
7. Practice safe sex.
8. Breast is best – babies should be breastfed for 6 months; evidence shows that it can help protect the mother from breast cancer and prevent obesity in children.
9. Go for screening when invited - you can be screened for breast, bowel and cervical cancer.
10. Know your body - see your doctor about anything unusual.
For more information on how healthy living can prevent certain cancers visit:
March 29, 2012