Tuesday Sep 26

Bowel cancer Screening UK

Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel Cancer is One of the Commonest Cancers

Cancers are amongst the commonest causes of death in the United Kingdom, accounting for about one in every four deaths - over 130,000 per annum.  The majority of cancer deaths are from tumours found in four principal sites: lung, bowel, breast and prostate.

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in the Western world.  In 1985, there was estimated to be 677,500 new cases and 394,100 deaths worldwide.  In the United Kingdom there is approximately a 4% lifetime risk, 35,000 new cases annually and 17,000 deaths.

Colorectal Polyp (Adenoma)

There is very good evidence to suggest that almost all cancers start off as a polyp.  These grow over a reasonable length of time from just a tiny colony of abnormal cells.  As they grow then the cells become increasingly abnormal and the usual restrictions on cell growth are lost.  This means that growth accelerates and once the cells start to invade through the lining of the bowel wall then an invasive cancer is formed.

Screening is the process by which a disease is detected at an early stage whereupon intervention is possible that improves the outcome.

Bowel cancer is an ideal disease for screening which is why the National Health Service has introduced The National Bowel Cancer Creening Programme.

Why Screen for Bowel Cancer?

Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16 per cent

But isn't there a National Screening Programme?

There is a National Screening Programme being introduced by the National Health Service that aims to offer screening every two years to all men and women aged 60 to 69.  This will take time to introduce and therefore will not be available immediately to everyone who may wish to be screened.  People aged 70 and over may "request a screening kit by calling a freephone helpline when the programme reaches their area".  If you are under the age of 60 then screening is currently NOT AVAILABLE on the NHS.


Read more: Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel cancer: should I be screened?

Bowel cancer: should I be screened?

Published on The Guardian Website in partnership with BMJ.

Bowel cancer is a serious condition, but there are good treatments. Treatment works best if it's started early. To pick up early warning signs of cancer, you might wish to consider a screening test.

  • If your bowel cancer is found after it has started causing symptoms, you have a 5 in 10 chance of surviving for at least five years
  • If your bowel cancer is found before it has started causing symptoms, you have an 8 in 10 chance of surviving for at least five years.

Read the Full Article Here

Other UK Surgeon Websites


The Bowel Cancer Screening website is designed to give information on bowel cancer and screening.  Every effort is made to ensure that all information is current but no responsibility can be accepted for out of date or inaccurate information.  Information or advice on this website is no substitute for seeing your doctor.