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Survivor and surgeon take to supercars for local bowel cancer charity - 04 April 2017

Survivor and surgeon take to supercars for local bowel cancer charity - 04 April 2017

A fantastic collection of supercars stopped off at Musgrove Park Hospital today to deliver a crucial message from Lands’ End to Bristol for a super cause.

The ‘BCW Grand Tour’, led by local charity Bowel Cancer West, included a Lamborghini, a Porsche and the 2016 winner of the Crumball Rally to draw attention to bowel cancer in the hope of saving lives during bowel cancer awareness month in April.

Each year, around 40,000 men and women are diagnosed with bowel cancer. It is the UK’s second biggest cause of death through cancer, largely because too many people either aren’t aware of the symptoms, will ignore them or remain too shy to seek advice.

Apart from being one of the best places in the UK to receive treatment, the Westcountry is particularly at risk (according to a recent survey) with 9 out of 10 people admitting their knowledge is ‘average’ or ‘poor’.

The tour will be visiting eight major hospitals in the region and arrived at Musgrove Park Hospital this morning to meet bowel cancer patients and hospital staff.

Spearheading the tour was local bowel cancer survivor Roger Stone and the surgeon who operated on him, Mark Coleman, and his team.

Dr Tom Edwards, consultant – general surgery at Musgrove Park Hospital, said:

“It is great that Musgrove Park Hospital is a part of this tour to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness month. It acknowledges the important part our local hospital plays in the provision of treatment for this disease in the South West.

“If there is one message that we are able to get across as a result of this event, it would be that if anyone has bowel symptoms please go and seek help because cure is possible in over 90 per cent of cases, as long as it is caught early.”

Mr Stone said:

“I’m so grateful to Mark for saving my life and delighted I can do this tour with him. He’d said to me recently that if it’d ignored my symptoms another few weeks, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

“The work this charity does to raise awareness is so important and I’m delighted we can combine our visit to help lift patients spirits and let them know there is good local charity out there trying to make a difference.”

Surgeon Mark Coleman said:

“It will be great fun driving these incredible cars but there is a very serious message we are trying to get to people that bowel cancer be cured in over 90% of cases if caught early.

“During our tour, we will be passing life-saving advice for anyone experiencing irregular bowel habits, bleeding from the bottom or abdominal pain or bloating to visit their GP. Likewise anyone over the age of 60 who receives a free NHS test in the post must not ignore this.”

Through generous donations from the public the charity is looking to save more lives like Roger by raising awareness as well as committing to local research and extended training for GPs and nurses. To explore how you can support them, please visit www.bowelcancer.west.com or email info@bowelcancerwest.com.