ONE in three people in Sheffield are too embarrassed to talk to a doctor about their bowel movements, a government survey has found.
Doctors say people need to become more comfortable about discussing the subject - because they might otherwise be missing vital warnings of bowel cancer.
The Government’s ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ bowel cancer campaign encourages people who have had blood in their poo or loose bowel movements for three weeks or more to see their doctor.
The campaign aims to make people aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and discuss the subject with their GP.
The Department of Health survey of 1,052 people in Yorkshire also found that 64 per cent of people were unaware one third of the population in England will get cancer in their lifetime.
And only 15 per cent of people were aware that 34,000 people get bowel cancer each year.
TV personality Sharon Osbourne, who is backing the campaign, said: “For goodness’ sake, we’ve all got a bum and we all poo, so get over it!
“The sooner bowel cancer is caught, the more likely the chance of survival.
“That is why everyone needs to just look out for the symptoms and head straight to the doctor if they are worried about anything.
“Early detection could save your life.”
Adverts featuring Sharon Osbourne will appear on TV and radio for five weeks from today.
Health Minister Paul Burstow said: “No one likes thinking about cancer, or talking about their poo.
“But the plain fact is no-one dies of embarrassment, but they can die of cancer if they don’t get an early diagnosis. If you show any of the key symptoms, tell your GP.
“It could save your life. Early diagnosis makes a huge difference to your chance of survival.
“That’s why we are building on the success of our recent national campaign which led to more people getting checked out by their GP.”
Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “Detecting bowel tumours early, before they’ve had a chance to spread, can significantly stack the odds in the patient’s favour.”