Bowel cancer screening programme boosts cancer diagnosis rates

23 March 2011

A greater number of bowel cancer cases are being spotted by clinicians thanks to a national screening programme introduced in England.

According to Cancer Research UK, bowel cancer diagnosis rates have leapt by 12 per cent in people aged 60 or over - suggesting that the screening scheme has boosted detection.

Early detection of bowel cancer is one of the most important factors affecting survival rates - with 90 per cent of those receiving an early cancer diagnosis surviving for five years.

This drops to just five per cent for people diagnosed with late-stage bowel cancer.

Commenting on the new figures from Cancer Research UK, a spokesperson for the Department of Health said: "We are delighted that this new data shows the bowel cancer screening programme is diagnosing cancer earlier, contributing to our aim of delivering cancer outcomes that are amongst the best in the world."

They added that over the next four years, £60 million would be invested in a new screening technique that would allow for earlier diagnosis in patients younger than 60.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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