Football legend Pelé died after battle with bowel cancer tumour

Pele: Brazilian football legend dead aged 82

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Today (Monday, January 2, 2023), a funeral ceremony for Pele will take place in São Paulo, Brazil. The coffin of the three-times World Cup winner is to lie in state for 24 hours in the centre circle of the Brazilian’s club’s Vila Belmiro stadium later today. Pele died at the age of 82 on December 29, 2022, after a lengthy battle with bowel cancer.

According to CNN, Pele had been in hospital since the end of November, dealing with complications from the disease that manifested as organ failure.

Tributes have been mounting, with fellow sportsman Harry Kane stating: “Pelé was a true inspiration and one of the greatest to ever play the game.”

Bowel cancer

Within two years, bowel cancer has taken the lives of 16,808 people in the UK alone, a leading charity notes.

Cancer Research UK adds that bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Pele was diagnosed with the deadly disease in September 2021, which eventually took his life.

In the earliest stages of bowel cancer, there can be changes in your normal bowel habits.

Possible indications of a growing tumour in the bowel, such as the colon, could include bleeding from the rectum or having blood in faeces.

Another sign could be experiencing looser poo, pooing more often, or constipation.

People might feel as though they need to strain their back passage, as if they need to go for a number two, when there is nothing to release.

Bowel cancer can also lead to unexpected weight loss, and/or pain in the abdomen and back passage; cancer can also lead to tiredness and breathlessness.

“See your GP if you are worried about any symptoms that you think could be caused by cancer in the bowel,” Cancer Research UK states.

While it’s “very likely you’ll have a rectal examination”, meaning the doctor will put a gloved finger into your back passage, this is a routine check-up.

In the UK, the NHS offer free bowel cancer screening for those between the ages of 60 to 74.

The national health service adds: “The programme is expanding to make it available to everyone aged 50 to 59 years.

“This is happening gradually over four years and started in April 2021.”

Even if you have not been invited for bowel screening, if you experience any symptoms of bowel cancer, do seek the support of your doctor.

People over the age of 75 can request a bowel screening kit every two years by calling the free NHS helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

The NHS bowel cancer screening test used in England is the faecal immunochemical test (FIT) kit.

A FIT test involves collecting a sample of poo in a small plastic stick, which is then sent off to a laboratory.

Results should be received within two weeks, but no screening is 100 percent reliable, which is why reporting symptoms is a must.

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