Embarrassed patients ‘putting lives at risk’

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MEN and women in the Lothians are putting their lives at risk because of embarrassment, a bowel cancer charity has warned.

Research by Bowel Cancer UK found that 40 per cent of residents would rather not talk to their GP about a concern, despite the risks of staying quiet. It is an issue that is proving a huge obstacle to health chiefs, who say the cancer is highly treatable if caught early.

Chief executive of the organisation, Deborah Alsina, said: “I can’t stress enough how important early diagnosis is. It saves lives.” Last week the Evening News reported how a project to send self-testing kits to everyone in the Lothians aged between 50 and 74 has potentially saved more than 150 lives – the number of people who began treatment having not known they had the disease.