Bowel cancer detected early with screening process
Posted Mar 23 2011 2:12pm
Bowel cancers are being detected earlier since the introduction in 2006 of a new screening programme say Cancer Research UK.
There has been a 12% increase in the number of people in their sixties who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer, which shows the importance of the screening programme. The test used works by detecting traces of blood in stool samples, which is the first sign of the disease.
Bowel cancer is the third most common form of cancer within the UK, and like all cancers, early detection makes a huge difference. Identifying a tumour in the early stages of development means that 90% of patients survive for at least five years.
The NHS bowel screening process was introduced to the UK in 2006 to identify early tumours in people in their 60’s; however this has since been increased to the age of 75. The testing kit is sent to people who are eligible through the post, and then it is sent back to a laboratory to be checked for traces of blood.
In the year prior to the screening process being introduced, the number of people diagnosed with bowel cancer was 143.5 per 100,000 people aged between 60 and 69. The impact of the screening process can be seen by the number of cases detected, and in 2008 this rose to 161.5 per 100,000, more than a 12% increase. In the future new plans are expected to see those who are aged over 55 also included in the screening process.