Over fifty per cent don’t go for new bowel cancer test

More than half of people invited to take a new bowel cancer screening test didn’t take up the opportunity — even though it could stop them developing or dying from the disease, according to a Cancer Research UK report published in the Journal of Medical Screening.

Cancer Research UK scientists found that people from poorer neighbourhoods were less likely to take up screening, with only one third in the most deprived neighbourhood going for their appointment compared to over half in the most affluent.

Researchers looked at how many of the 21,000 people in six pilot areas of England, who were sent an appointment, did not go ahead with the new test.

In the most ethnically diverse area, 39 per cent decided to have the test compared to 45 per cent of people in the least ethnically diverse area. And more men (45 per cent) took the potentially life-saving test than women (42 per cent).

Full reference: L. M. McGregor et al. Uptake of Bowel Scope (Flexible Sigmoidoscopy) Screening in the English National Programme: the first 14 months. Journal of Medical Screening, 2015

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