The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, along with NHS Enfield and Bowel Cancer UK, this month launched the Enfield Bowel Cancer partnership.
The official launch took place at an event held at Edmonton Green Shopping Centre, attended by Academy goalkeeper Jordan Archer and Cllr Don McGowan, Cabinet Member for Older People and Adult Social Services, from Enfield Council.
Bowel Cancer UK provided use of their inflatable colon for the public to interactively gain more of an understanding of bowel cancer and its symptoms. Health trainers from NHS Enfield were also present to talk to people about making changes in their lifestyle.
The Enfield Bowel Cancer Partnership aims to raise the awareness of bowel cancer symptoms in the local community and to increase the numbers of people accessing screening.
Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in England with an estimated 30,800 new cases of bowel cancer diagnosed each year. Approximately 80 per cent of bowel cancer cases develop in people who are 60 years of age or over.
Enfield has one of the lowest survival rates compared to other London Primary Care Trusts and the aim of this partnership is to help the NHS improve public awareness of symptoms and screening. Around 90 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated if they are diagnosed in time.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is working to recruit community volunteers who will be trained to assist at community health awareness events in the borough over the coming months with the remit of improving people's understanding of bowel cancer and how it can be prevented.
The Bowel Cancer Partnership will help Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to deliver existing health programmes that reach over 300 families a week through – such as Healthy Families, Guys and Goals and To Care is to Do.
Joe Lyons, Operations and Education Manager at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “This is a great partnership and one we are proud to be involved with. Bowel cancer is an important issue and one we aim to tackle and improve. The Foundation is committed to providing the best health programmes for all our communities to ensure we can improve not only the survival rates of bowel cancer, but also raise awareness.”
Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with NHS Enfield and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. We believe that working across sectors provides us with an opportunity to more effectively raise awareness of bowel cancer and we hope this will encourage people to visit their GP if they have concerns."
Glenn Stewart, Assistant Director of Public Health at NHS Enfield, said: “The launch of this partnership is an important step in raising awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer. By maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet, people can reduce the risks of developing bowel cancer.
“There is already a successful NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme which offers screening to men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 every two years. Over 70s can request a screening kit.
“We want more people in Enfield to be aware of the symptoms and to go to their GP as if they have any concerns.”
Averil Dongworth, Chief Executive of Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Bowel cancer is often preventable and treatable, and the earlier it is discovered the better, which is why we are pleased to be involved in this important initiative to raise the profile of bowel cancer and screening in Enfield.”