Public Health England is calling on all men and women, aged over 60, to get screened for bowel cancer after the latest figures show over 40% are not getting tested. Embarrassment over providing a stool sample is one of the reasons, among men in particular, behind thousands being unnecessarily at risk of dying.
Bowel cancer screening is offered to all men and women aged 60 to 74, who are sent a home test kit to provide stool samples. There were over 3,000 bowel cancers diagnosed as a result of screening in 2016 to 2017. In over 90% of these cases, cancers were found at an early stage, where treatment is more likely to be successful.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in England, but the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with around 13,000 people dying from it every year.
If detected early, bowel cancer is very treatable which is why screening is vital and it has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%.
The latest NHS Screening Programmes in England annual report details the progress and activities of the NHS population screening programmes.
PHE press release: Men and women asked not to miss out on bowel screening