Shoppers take a look around an inflatable bowel

3rd May 2017

IT’s the giant inflatable bowel that takes you on a journey inside this vital organ – and it was on a high street in the Black Country.

Blown up to stop shoppers in their tracks, the bowel was manned by staff from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust who wanted to bring home the message that bowel screening literally saves lives.

Shoppers at New Square shopping centre, in West Bromwich, were fascinated with their ‘fantastic voyage’ as they travelled through the organ, navigated by Bowel Cancer Screening Programme manager Maggie Preston and her colleagues.

She explained: “We’re here to speak to members of the public about how important a simple test can be. The home kit is sent out every three years to people between the age of 60 and 74, and we urge people to use it and send it back as we see lives being saved solely down to this test.

Patient and grandmum-of-four Janet Hopkins, 69, of Great Barr, agreed as using the kit saved her life after she was diagnosed with cancer. She said. “I was sent the kit previously and didn’t use it, then three years later another one came through the post.

“At the time I was experiencing blood in my stools. I thought it was piles and put off using the kit, but my husband encouraged me to do it.
“In the end I did the test and sent it back to the hospital. Two days later I had a call to say I needed further testing, and it was discovered I had cancer. But they treated it in time and I am now cancer free.

“Using the kit definitely saved my life and I would encourage people to who are sent the test to do it. I am now able to enjoy more time with my grandchildren and I may not have been here in a few months’ time had the cancer not been caught in time.”

Maggie added: “We used the inflatable bowel to encourage more people to use the home test that is sent to them. We want to make people aware and it has certainly gathered quite a lot of attention which is positive.”

Watch our bowel expert Clair Millard take you through the inflatable bowel:

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