April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and players and managers are supporting the fourth annual Know the Score campaign.Bowel cancer is the UK’s fourth most common cancer, with 41,000 new cases each year. It’s also the second biggest cause of cancer death. 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.
• If you’ve had bleeding from the bottom or a persistent change to looser or more frequent bowel movements for the last three weeks, tell your doctor. Other symptoms include a pain or lump in your tummy; feeling more tired than usual; losing weight for no obvious reason.
• You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting it checked out. If it’s not serious, your mind will be eased, but if it is bowel cancer, research suggests that over 90% of patients will survive the disease for more than five years if diagnosed at the earliest stage. A trip to your doctor could save your life.
• You can also call the Beating Bowel Cancer confidential helpline 08450 719301 (low call rate) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday's game against Doncaster Rovers saw the O's players warm-up in Know the Score t-shirts.
O's midfielder Dean Cox said: “Bowel cancer can affect anyone at any age so it's really important everyone is aware of the symptoms as early as possible.”
Throughout football ‘Star of Hope’ badges are being worn during the campaign, which is supported by the Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association, the Men’s Health Forum and leading bowel cancer charities.
To find out more visit www.knowthescore.org.uk or follow @KnowTheScoreUK on Twitter.