Bowel cancer survival rates improve

18 February 2013

People are almost 50 per cent more likely to survive bowel cancer compared to 30 years ago, according to new figures.

Statistics from the Scottish government show the five-year survival rate for the disease increased from 38 per cent between 1983 to 1987 to 55 per cent between 2003 and 2007.

Ministers have welcomed the improvement but say too many people are still receiving a bowel cancer diagnosis at the later stages.

The Scottish government is to launch a new bowel cancer awareness campaign that will emphasise the importance of screening in increasing the early detection of the disease.

From April, the bowel cancer screening programme will be extended to those over the age of 74 – at the moment, men and women aged between 50 and 74 are invited to participate in screening every two years.

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil said: "These statistics are encouraging and show that today people are far more likely to survive bowel cancer than they were 30 years ago.

"However, there are still far too many people being diagnosed with bowel cancer at the later stages."

In 2010, 40,695 people in the UK were diagnosed with bowel cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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