Poor uptake for bowel cancer screening in Harlow

Health / Wed 1st Aug 2018 pm31 03:49pm

Uptake for bowel cancer screening in south Essex is the worst in the East of England, new figures has shown.

Just 57 per cent of people under the care of Basildon and Brentwood CCG are taking advantage of a free bowel cancer screening test that has the potential to save lives.

It is only marginally better than Thurrock, where 54 per cent of people have been tested and Southend, the worst in the region where just 52 per cent of people take up the service.

Now Bowel Cancer UK, the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity, is encouraging people living in the region to take part in the screening programme, which can detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms when it is easier to treat and there is a greater chance of survival.

West Essex has an uptake rate of 59 per cent while Mid Essex has an uptake of 61 per cent.

If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60-74, you will receive a test in the post every two years.

You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

Almost 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the UK and more than 16,000 people die from the disease.

It’s the nation’s second biggest cancer killer. However it shouldn’t be because it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.

The charity is raising awareness of the importance of bowel cancer screening, as part of the announcement of its new brand following the merger of Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK in January 2018.

Deborah Alsina MBE, chief executive for Bowel Cancer UK, said: “It’s quite simple, bowel cancer screening saves lives.

“I would encourage everyone who’s over 60 to take the test, and for those who are younger to encourage their loved ones over 60 to complete it.

“It could save yours or your loved one’s life.

“Bowel Cancer UK joined with Beating Bowel Cancer to create a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.

“We’re determined to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by the disease.

“Taking part in screening is the best way to get diagnosed early when treatment is more likely to be successful. Early diagnosis really does save lives.”

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