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Raising awareness of bowel cancer – the importance of screening


Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the 4th most common type of cancer in the UK and is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death after lung cancer. It is one of the most treatable of cancers with early diagnosis.


Each year, more than 41,000 people in the UK - 4,000 in Scotland - are diagnosed with bowel cancer: 23,000 men and 18,000 women, and someone dies from bowel cancer every half hour.


Research shows that 9 out of 10 people whose bowel cancer is detected early will survive the disease, but currently 50% of bowel cancers are diagnosed at a late stage.


The most common route to diagnosing bowel cancer is referral from the GP. Screening is the route with the highest proportion of cases diagnosed at an early stage.


Survival rates have doubled over the last 40 years and are continuing to improve due to increased awareness, earlier diagnosis, improved treatments and screening. Treatments are most successful in the 60-69 age group, probably due to screening.


54% of cases of bowel cancer are preventable. Some potentially avoidable life style factors are alcohol – 6%, smoking – 7%, eating processed meat – 13%, overweight and obese – 11%, eating too little fibre – 28%, and too little physical activity – 5%.


Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%. The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme offers routine screening to those aged 50-74 in Scotland and 60-74 in the rest of the UK.


In Scotland alone, that’s over half a million people doing their bowel screening test each year.


For more information contact your helpline: Scotland – 0800 012 1833. Figures refer to UK. Primary sources CRUK and National Cancer Intelligence Network.


020 8968 4340 pdaisleytrust@aol.com The Paul Daisley Trust, 11 Montrose Avenue, London NW6 6LE Reg charity: 1103457 – The Paul Daisley Trust, set up in 2003 after the untimely death of Paul Daisley MP, is run entirely by volunteers


Proud to support the NHS in Scotland


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