Merton GP’s are reminding residents of the importance of early diagnosis in tackling bowel cancer by taking up a screening.

In Merton, more than 890 cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed every year with 360 deaths from the disease according to Merton Clinical Commissioning Group.

Dr Shweta Singh, Merton Macmillan GP and Merton Clinical Commissioning Group lead on cancer, said: “Bowel cancer can be treated effectively if caught early enough and people can minimise the risk by following simple advice including diet and exercise.

“Those aged 55 and older will be automatically contacted about screening but if you any symptoms or concerns, contact your GP straight away.”

Symptoms can include:

• Persistent blood in the stools which occurs for no obvious reason or associated with a change in bowel habit

• A persistent change in bowel habits which means going more often with looser stools

• Persistent lower abdominal (tummy) pain, bloating or

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and bowel cancer is a common type of cancer in both men and women.

If you are unsure whether to see your GP, try the bowel cancer symptom checker by visiting