Podge and Rodge tackle bowel cancer awareness
2,271 Irish people were diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009 (NCRI latest data) and over 50% of patients were diagnosed with late stage bowel cancer which is difficult to treat. The greatest barrier facing successful treatment and outcome is late stage diagnosis, so people need to be ‘embarrassed out of the embarrassment’ and the ’national conversation’ on bowel cancer needs to be opened up.
In the build up to Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in April, the Irish Cancer Society and Ireland’s favourite brothers, Podge & Rodge challenge the embarrassment around the symptoms of bowel cancer head on with the launch of their movie, ‘My Brothers Bowels’.
Speaking in advance of the launch of the movie, Joan Kelly, Nursing Services Manager said
Consumer research conducted by the Irish Cancer Society shows that people feel very embarrassed when faced with having to discuss symptoms that might be associated with bowel cancer. This has become a serious obstacle for people to opening up a discussion with relatives and friends, calling the National Cancer Helpline and visiting a GP. Basically we need to open up the ‘national conversation’ on bowel cancer.
‘My Brother’s Bowels’ is a short movie, produced by the Irish Cancer Society which aims to tackle the embarrassment factors associated with symptoms that might be indicative of bowel cancer. Rodge describes the symptoms he is worried about (blood in his bowel motion, a feeling that he has not emptied his bowel fully after a bowel motion and pain in his back passage). Playing the role of doctor, Podge suggests that Rodge should have a colonoscopy, the vital test to detect bowel cancer. In scene three, Rodge has had the colonoscopy and the results show that Podge does not have bowel cancer.
My Brother’s Bowels can be viewed via the Irish Cancer Society website and Facebook page. Viewers can also see an interview with Dr Brendan Clune, a GP from Dublin 6 who talks through what actually happens at a consultation with a GP when someone presents with symptoms that might be indicative of bowel cancer. Extensive information on bowel cancer prevention and awareness of signs and symptoms is also available on-line.
As a bowel cancer survivor myself, I fully agree that we need to get over the embarassment for the sooner it is caught the better!