A Bowel Cancer Awareness event will be held at Chantry Library on Thursday to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

With guest speakers Rob Dunger and Mark Jepson from Suffolk Sound Radio, the event will aim to raise awareness of bowel cancer and provide support to those affected by cancer.

Visits to Macmillan Cancer Support’s online support reached their highest weekend levels since the first Covid lockdown after the Princess of Wales revealed her cancer battle.

Similar high demand was experienced after King Charles revealed his own cancer diagnosis in February.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Ian Denison, a volunteer who helps run the regular library cancer support group and himself a survivor of bowel cancer, said: “Having been diagnosed with Bowel Cancer in December 2016 and after two operations for the removal of tumours and subsequently a year of recovery, I became a Patient Experience Volunteer with Ipswich Hospital up until the Covid period. In 2019, with the support of Chantry Library and Macmillan we started the monthly support group.

“I felt that with my experience having cancer and my research and self determination to improve my lifestyle that I could help and pass on my experience to others in a sympathetic and confidential manner.  I hope that this group can help others who may be affected by cancer by providing a place to talk to others and get support.”

It is hoped the event will encourage more people to come forward to access support.

There were 100,000 visits to Macmillan’s information and support pages in the weekend following the statement made by the Princess of Wales - a 10% increase on the same period last year.

Gemma Peters, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We hear from people every day who are worried about how cancer will affect their loved ones, and how best to support each other through it. In sharing her news, the Princess of Wales has raised awareness of these worries and will be helping to encourage others who have concerns, to visit their GP and seek support.”

A monthly cancer support group, run with Macmillan Cancer, is held at Chantry Library for anyone suffering from cancer or those supporting friends/family through the illness.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Kellie Dimmock, Suffolk Libraries Information for Living Librarian, said: “I was thrilled when over six years ago Macmillan Cancer approached us to ask if we would be interested in setting up some friendly and informal cancer support groups in libraries with tea and cake and some supporting Macmillan information books and leaflets, so I jumped at the chance!

“I have had experience of how cancer can affect families and I know that there is great merit in giving such initiatives a go, because they often start off small and it is wonderful to watch how groups like Chantry can grow and become successful, safe, warm non-clinical spaces to meet.”

The Bowel Cancer Awareness event will begin at 2:30pm on April 4.