Islanders are being encouraged to make simple changes to their diet and lifestyle to ensure they have a healthy bowel as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in April.
Dr David Ng, consultant gastroenterologist at the Hospital, said: "Simple changes can make a big difference to ensure you keep your bowel healthy. Things like eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, fibre and limiting the amount of red meat you eat and the amount of alcohol you drink, as well as keeping a healthy weight can all help you keep you keep your bowel healthy."
To act as a simple and fun reminder of the importance of eating well to stay healthy, as Bowel Cancer Awareness Month begins, members of the bowel cancer awareness team, will give away fruit to islanders at the Airport on 3 April from 10 am to 4 pm, sponsored by the Co-op.
In Jersey, in the year of their 60th birthday, islanders are invited to attend a free bowel screening appointment at the Hospital.
Last year 685 islanders attended the appointment and 62 high-risk polyps – which had the potential of developing into cancer - were removed.
Dr Ng and his team, who are based at the Endoscopy Unit on Aubin Ward at the Hospital, are now urging Islanders who receive an invitation to be screened to come to their appointment.
"Although we understand that someone might be embarrassed about coming for bowel screening, I and my team would reassure them that there’s no need to be," he said. "We perform hundreds of endoscopies a year, and we want to keep you healthy. Remember that your GP is not embarrassed either, so please always go to your GP if you have any unusual bowel symptoms for you."
Throughout April, islanders will see reminder banners, posters and stickers at various locations throughout the island, and Jersey Post will be franking mail with a reminder stamp. There is also an awareness raising advert sponsored by Jersey Cancer Relief and a video explaining what happens during an endoscopy sponsored by the League of Friends which is on gov.je
Sara Kynicos, Superintendent Pharmacist, Pharmacy and Funeral Operations Manager, The Channel Islands Co-operative Society Limited, said: "As a community retailer, we are proud to support an initiative such as this which helps highlight and promote an important part of our everyday health. We are fortunate to live in an island where we have excellent access to health care and services, and believe that these free screenings – along with a healthy diet and nutrition – are all part of helping us all to live better and healthier lifestyles. Any campaign which helps increase awareness and starts open conversations on a taboo subject is wholeheartedly welcomed by The Channel Islands Co-operative Society".
Steve Pallett, assistant minister for Health and Community Services said: "We are fortunate in Jersey to have effective screening programmes to help prevent disease and ill health. Screening is a huge part of wellbeing and I’d encourage all islanders to participate in the screening programmes on offer. I’d like to thank everyone involved with this brilliant initiative as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Week."