Bowel cancer screening 'aids earlier disease diagnoses'

22 January 2016

A new study has demonstrated the positive impact bowel cancer screening can have on ensuring the disease is caught earlier.

The Cancer Research UK study has indicated that 37 per cent of bowel cancer cases identified by screening were caught at stage one, the earliest phase of the disease, while only eight per cent of cases were advanced stage four cancers.

By contrast, 40 per cent of bowel cancers diagnosed as an emergency have already developed to stage four by the time they are caught, while 22 per cent of bowel cancers identified when people go to the doctor are stage four cases.

Patients whose cancers are picked up at an earlier point almost always have better chances of survival, because treatment is more likely to be effective if it is administered before the disease has had a chance to spread.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of early diagnosis, said: "Early diagnosis means better survival and late diagnosis is bad news for patients, so we need to learn how to avoid it."

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancer types in the UK, with around 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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