March bowel cancer sufferer promoting Lift the Lid Day to raise awareness of the disease

PUBLISHED: 12:49 03 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:49 03 April 2014

Cambridgeshire man gets people to Lift the Lid for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. David Bird.

Cambridgeshire man gets people to Lift the Lid for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. David Bird.

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A health and safety officer who is battling bowel cancer is doing his bit to raise awareness of the disease.

David Bird, of March, is promoting national Lift the Lid Day, which has been organised by the charity Beating Bowel Cancer, on April 16.

The initiative aims to break down the taboo surrounding the condition, which is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, and get people talking about its symptoms.

Having battled the disease with surgery and chemotherapy, Mr Bird will shortly have a stoma reversal which he hopes will mark the final part of his cancer journey.

He said: “Having been fit and healthy until last year I had to be pushed to see my GP, as I thought it couldn’t be happening to me, but luckily my wife thought differently.

“Fortunately my doctor in March recognised my symptoms and before I knew it I was in the safe hands of the specialist team at Peterborough City Hospital, led by consultant surgeon, Elizabeth Drye.

“Supported by the expert ward nurses and the Beating Bowel Cancer team I overcame surgery and chemotherapy, with few side effects, to return to work in December.”

More than 90 per cent of bowel cancer sufferers can be treated successfully if diagnosed in the early stages of the disease.

Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, said: “Our Lift the Lid campaign is a great opportunity to get people talking to raise awareness of the condition and its symptoms.

“Whether it’s a chat over coffee about your own experience of the disease, inspiring someone to go online and learn about the symptoms or encouraging someone who is worried to talk to their doctor or contact our helpline, all of these conversations could be lifesaving.

“There are also downloadable materials such as posters which people could put up around their offices or in the community.

“By talking about bowel cancer we make a real difference in the fight against it.”

For information on this month’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and about how you can support Lift the Lid Day, go to www.beatingbowelcancer.org/liftthelid or call 08450 719 300.

There is an interactive awareness tool at www.liftthelid.org

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