Campaign to drive down bowel cancer backed in NE

The VOICE of Scotland’s road transport industry and Aberdeen-based haulage firm, ARR Craib Transport Ltd, have backed a campaign to drive down deaths from bowel cancer.

The Road Haulage Association recently met with Bowel Cancer UK to support the Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early campaign, as it targets truck drivers and motorists to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

Almost 4,000 Scots are diagnosed with the third biggest cancer in Scotland, yet only half of those eligible for the national screening programme actually take the test. Nine out of ten people survive the disease if it’s detected and treated early and screening is the best way to spot the early hidden signs of bowel cancer.

Long-haul drivers, truckers and those who drive as part of their job and are over 50 will be urged to take the test as trucks from ARR Craib Transport Ltd will travel the country sporting the new advertising campaign on their back doors..

Phil Flanders, Director of the Road Haulage Association for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “Bowel cancer can be a devastating disease and can affect many in the driving and road transport industry and this organisation will encourage drivers and truckers who are eligible for the screening programme, to take the test.

“As someone who has taken the test several times, I can verify that it’s a simple process. Yes, you have to deal with poo but that’s of minor importance if doing the test could save your life.

“If anything, it gives you peace of mind and you can sleep a bit easier at night.”

Emma Anderson, Head of Operations at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “There are so many factors that can put people at risk of bowel cancer, including leading inactive lifestyles and having a poor diet. But it can also just happen.

“Bowel cancer is very treatable especially if diagnosed at an early stage.

“The best way to spot the signs of bowel cancer is to do the screening test.

“This is why it is so important that if anyone receives a screening kit that they use it and return it.

“Bowel cancer screening really does save lives.”

Mike Simpson, commercial director at ARR Craib Transport Ltd, said: “We understand the devastating effect that bowel cancer can have on patients and their families throughout Scotland, so we’re very keen to play a part in promoting participation in the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.

“We employ over 300 drivers, many falling into the 50 plus age group, and we’re encouraging them to participate.

“If we can encourage others to do the same that’s great.”

People in Scotland aged 50-74 are eligible to participate in the Scottish National Bowel Screening Programme and are sent a kit every two years.

Over 74’s can opt into the programme as of April 2013 simply by contacting the bowel screening helpline on 0800 0121 833.