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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > April 2016 > THIS FEATURE COULD CUT YOUR RISK


Our toilet habits aren’t something we shout about, but that shouldn’t stop us being alert to warning signs. And, with experts confirming the link between a healthier diet and lifestyle and bowel cancer prevention, it’s time to break the silence


IT’S THE UK’S second most deadly cancer – lung cancer being top of the list – and the fourth most common. Yet the symptoms of bowel cancer are often overlooked, which means it’s often diagnosed too late.

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month, so what better opportunity to be frank about the signs to watch out for? Monitoring changes in your stools is important for everyone, as they can be an early indicator that something’s not quite right. Shying away from the issue could mean missing important signs your GP would probably want to check.


More than 41,000 adults are diagnosed every year in the UK (that’s equivalent to someone getting the news every 15 minutes). But early diagnosis greatly improves our chances of survival. According to Bowel Cancer UK, more than 90% of people who are diagnosed at the earliest stage are treated successfully. ‘When it comes to bowel movements, most of us have very little idea about what’s “normal” other than what’s normal for us, and that’s because we just don’t talk about it,’ says HFG expert Dr Dawn Harper. ‘But discussing bowel movements shouldn’t make us uncomfortable – we all have them! I promise you, a GP won’t be in the slightest bit embarrassed. If you have a problem, just come out with it to make the most of the 10 minutes or so you have with them.’

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About Healthy Food Guide

This month our experts and dietitians report on research that shows better sleep aids weight loss (and share diet tips for quality slumber), reveal what they feed their own kids, and give advice on spotting the signs of bowel cancer. We also investigate claims that the 8–week Blood Sugar diet can reverse type 2 diabetes, plus dish up a host of healthier spring eats…