Written by Kim Cordell | Product Development Administrator, European Medical Journal | @EMJ_Kim
This April, EMJ has proudly showcased its support for World Hemophilia Day, Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, and Allergy Awareness Week.
April 17th marks the 28th World Hemophilia Day (WHD), and the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) use this day as an opportunity to focus on the importance of sharing knowledge. Haemophilia is a condition where the blood’s natural ability to clot is impaired, meaning those with the condition tend to bleed for longer than usual.1 Whilst the severity of a person’s bleeding disorder usually depends on the amount of clotting factor that is missing or not functioning, minor injuries that occur on a daily basis can become much more harmful to those with the condition and may even become life-threatening. The President of the WFH, Mr Alain Weill, explained that the WFH uses the data that it collects to share knowledge, and “advance the understanding and care of people with hemophilia worldwide,”2 which is why WHD is recognised as a time for those with bleeding disorders to come together and help one another by sharing first-hand knowledge and experience to “live healthier, longer, and more productive lives by educating and empowering them through knowledge sharing, information exchanges, education, and training.”2
April was host to Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, an annual opportunity to raise both awareness of bowel cancer, and the necessary funds to support the work undertaken by the charities involved in the campaign. Whilst this awareness month was held by Bowel Cancer UK last year, 2018 has seen a merger between Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK who now form the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity,3 with their mission being “to ensure that by 2050, no-one will die of bowel cancer.”3 Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, affects the large bowel, which comprises the colon and the rectum, and can occur as a result of precancerous growths known as polyps.4 With Bowel Cancer being the fourth most common cancer in the UK, it is “the UK’s second biggest cancer killer however, it shouldn’t be because it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.”3 While many people may be embarrassed to go to their doctors with symptoms of bowel cancer such as bleeding from your rectum, or a persistent change in bowel habits (in addition to other symptoms that can be found here: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/symptoms/), Bowel Cancer Awareness Month calls for you to get these symptoms checked. As Bowel Cancer UK states: “Early diagnosis really does save lives, that’s why during April we’re raising awareness of bowel cancer symptoms. And you can help spread the word too.”3
Last but not least, Allergy Awareness Week was held between the 23rd and 29th of April as an opportunity to raise awareness of people living with allergies. This year, Allergy UK focussed on the theme of travel, raising awareness of the issues faced by those with allergy when travelling, in addition to sharing advice on how to prepare for holidays both in the UK, and abroad with an allergy.5
- NHS. Haemophilia. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/haemophilia/. Last accessed: 4 April 2018.
- World Federation of Hemophilia. Sharing Knowledge Makes Us Stronger: Strengthening the Bleeding Disorders Community on World Hemophilia Day 2018. Available at: http://www1.wfh.org/docs/en/Events/WHD-2018/WHD2018_WFHPressRelease_EN.PDF. Last accessed: 4 April 2018.
- Bowel Cancer UK. Bowel Cancer Awareness Month 2018. Available at: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/bowel-cancer-awareness-month/. Last accessed: 4 April 2018.
- Bowel Cancer UK. Bowel Cancer. Available at: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/bowel-cancer/. Last accessed: 4 April 2018.
- Allergy UK. Allergy Awareness Week 2018. Available at: https://www.allergyuk.org/allergy-awareness-week. Last accessed: 4 April 2018.