The Road Haulage Association for Scotland and Northern Ireland is backing a campaign to drive down deaths from bowel cancer.
The RHA met with Bowel Cancer UK to support the Scottish government’s Detect Cancer Early campaign, as it targets truck drivers and motorists to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
Almost 4000 Scots are diagnosed with the third biggest cancer in Scotland, yet only half of those eligible for the national screening programme actually take the test.
Nine out of 10 people survive the disease if it’s detected and treated early, and screening is the best way to spot the early hidden signs of bowel cancer.
Long-haul drivers, truckers and those who drive as part of their job and are over 50 will be urged to take the test, as trucks from ARR Craib Transport Ltd will travel the country sporting the new advertising campaign on their back doors.
Phil Flanders, director of the RHA for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “We know the importance safety and the health of drivers play in continuing to keep truckers on the road. Bowel cancer can be a devastating disease and can affect many in the driving and road transport industry, and this organisation will encourage drivers and truckers who are eligible for the screening programme to take the test.
“As someone who has taken the test several times myself, I can verify it’s a simple process. Yes, you have to deal with poo – but that’s of minor importance if the test could save your life.”
Emma Anderson, head of operations at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “There are so many factors that can put people at risk of bowel cancer, including leading inactive lifestyles and having a poor diet. But it can also just happen. Bowel cancer is very treatable, especially if diagnosed at an early stage. The best way to spot the signs of bowel cancer, which are often hidden, is to do the screening test.
“This is why it is so important that if anyone receives a screening kit, they use it and return it. Bowel cancer screening save lives.”
Mike Simpson, commercial director at ARR Craib Transport Ltd, said: “ARR Craib is delighted to support this campaign. We understand the devastating effect bowel cancer can have on patients and their families.”
People in Scotland aged 50-74 are eligible to participate in the Scottish National Bowel Screening Programme and are sent a kit every two years.