Thursday, 26 January 2017

Backing calls to lower the bowel cancer screening age

I attended a reception hosted by the charity Beating Bowel Cancer to hear the case for reducing the bower cancer screening age.

Variations in the screening age across the UK could be leading to thousands of bowel cancer patients in their 50s having a delayed diagnosis.

Beating Bowel Cancer is calling for the screening age in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to be lowered from the age of 60 to 50, to bring it in line with the screening age in Scotland.

I was interested to hear Beating Bowel Cancer's plans for the future of screening and pledged my support for them.

We all need to do our bit to support any improvements to early diagnosis rates if we are to stop bowel cancer being one of the biggest cancer killers in the country.

Being diagnosed with bowel cancer at the earliest stage offers a 97% survival rate. But without screening, the majority of patients between 50 and 59 might not be diagnosed until a later stage through their GP or A&E. At that point the cancer can be more difficult to treat and if diagnosed at a late state their survival odds could be as low as 7%.

To find out more about bowel cancer please visit the charity's website or call their Nurse Helpline on 020 8973 0011.