Rochdale Football Club and the Dale in the Community Trust are backing the eighth annual ‘Know the Score’ campaign to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April.
Know the Score sees clubs, charities and governing bodies, including the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and League Managers Association (LMA), unite to raise awareness of bowel cancer signs and symptoms.
The main aim is to end the perception that bowel cancer only affects older people - in fact it affects men and women of any age and the key to successful treatment is early diagnosis.
The campaign is the brainchild of former Millwall, Charlton and QPR goalkeeper Nicky Johns, whose son Stephen died of bowel cancer at the age of 26.
Bowel cancer is the UK’s fourth most common cancer, with 41,200 new cases each year. It’s also the second biggest cancer killer. Every 90 minutes, three people die of the disease. That’s 44 people each day - the equivalent to four football teams - but it needn’t be that way. Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Over 95% of bowel cancer patients will survive the disease for five years or more if diagnosed at the earliest stage.
Symptoms of bowel cancer can include: Bleeding for your bottom and/or blood in your poo, a change in bowel habit lasting three weeks or more, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason, a pain or lump in your tummy and/ or unexplained weight loss.
Most people with these symptoms won’t have bowel cancer, but if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, visit your doctor. You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting it checked out. If it’s not serious, your mind will be eased, and if it is bowel cancer, the earlier you are diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment and cure. A trip to your doctor could save your life.
This Saturday, Dale players will wear specially designed ‘Know the Score’ t-shirts during the warm-up.
To find out more visit www.knowthescore.org.uk or follow @KnowTheScoreUK on Twitter.