NEIL Hamilton, Leader of UKIP Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales, has pledged to push for life-saving changes in the way bowel cancer is diagnosed and treated in Wales.
Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Culture, and a member of the Health and Social Care Committee, has signed up to become a champion for the charity and help to increase awareness of the condition.
As an AM he will raise questions and table debates on improving early diagnosis, treatment and care for bowel cancer in the Assembly.
April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month and Mr Hamilton said: “I have received a large number of emails from constituents, following Bowel Cancer UK’s appeal for people to ask their AM’s to become bowel cancer champions, and I am delighted to take up the challenge.
“Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Wales. Every year more than 2,200 people are diagnosed with the disease, leading to over 900 deaths. However, it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early so it is vital we get this message across.
“The Bowel Cancer Champion Campaign was launched in 2017 when supporters asked MP’s to work with the charity to lead change in Parliament. This initiative is now being launched in Wales and I hope fellow AM’s will also lend their support so we can continue to push for life-saving changes in the way we diagnose and treat bowel cancer.
“As local AM, I am totally committed to increasing awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, both locally and nationally and I would urge anyone who is worried that something is wrong, to visit their GP.
“They will welcome you taking the initiative and may be able to put your mind at rest or refer you for further testing. Bowel cancer can be treated and cured but early diagnosis is essential to save lives.”
Aprils’ Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual event set aside to increase awareness of bowel cancer symptoms and raise funds towards treating this condition which can affect young, old, female and male.
This month the charity is also highlighting the varied and many people affected by bowel cancer and showing that it doesn’t just impact the person diagnosed. It affects families, friends and colleagues, doctors and nurses, scientists and researchers.
Bowel Cancer is driven by various charitable organisations including the Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK, who have merged with the main aim of ensuring that there would be no victim of bowel cancer by 2050. The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:
· Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
· A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
· Unexplained weight loss
· Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
· A pain or lump in your tummy