I am supporting Beating Bowel Cancer’s campaign to reduce the screening age for bowel cancer from 60 to 50 in England.
How early someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer can mean the difference between life and death, with a survival rate of 97% for people diagnosed in Stage 1, compared to a 7% survival rate for people diagnosed in Stage 4.
Scotland has already acknowledged this and made the change, which is great for Scotland but creates a diagnosis lottery across the UK, with people in their 50s in Scotland being screened and therefore having a better chance of survival than those of the same age in the rest of the UK.
If the screening age was reduced from age 60 to 50 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to be in line with Scotland, over 4,000 patients a year would be given the chance to be diagnosed earlier.
I have therefore written to the Public Health Minister, Nicola Blackwood MP, and called on her to follow Scotland’s lead.
Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, and by reducing the screening age, the government could ensure that more people survive bowel cancer than ever before.
For more information and advice about bowel cancer visit: www.beatingbowelcancer.org. If you have any concerns you can call the charity’s Nurse Helpline on 020 8973 0011 or email email@example.com