Detecting Bowel Cancer Early

Bowel cancer is the third most commonly-occurring cancer and the second most common cause of death due to cancer in Scotland. Scottish Bowel Screening Programme

Bowel Cancer Campaign imageLatest statistics in Scotland reveal that more men than ever have opted to take part in the bowel screening programme. 61.6 % of men took part in the easy to use test compared to 52.3% the year before.

The test arrives in the post and has been simplified for ease of use. The sample is then posted back for testing.

There has also been an increase in uptake in more deprived areas, however, this is still only just over half those eligible to take part.

Women continue to be more likely to use the test with 66.1% doing so. Scotland’s bowel screening test in sent out to all those in Scotland between the ages of 50 and 74 every two years. Anyone 75+ can self refer and opt in for a screening test.

More cancers were detected using the new test due to the increase in uptake. Most of the cancers detected were in the early stages of development and had not spread elsewhere. 9 out of 10 of the tests which did require further investigation indicated that the patients did not have bowel cancer but  may have had other bowel conditions which they were then offered treatment for.

Shetland tops the table for the number of those returning their completed test.

Bowel screening

Commenting on the statistics Public Health Minister in the Scottish Government Joe FitzPatrick said:

“We know that the earlier a cancer is detected, the greater the chances of successful treatment and often cure. This is why we launched our Detect Cancer Early programme in 2012 backed by a £42 million investment.

“Screening remains the best way to find bowel cancer early and help reduce health inequalities in cancer outcomes.”

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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