Victory for The Sun and campaigners as Government lowers bowel cancer screening age to 50

EVERYONE in England will be offered bowel cancer screening tests at 50 years old, marking a victory for The Sun and campaigners.

The No Time 2 Lose campaign called for the Government to lower the screening age from 60 – bringing it in line with Scotland.

Bowel cancer screening in the UK is to start at 50 after the success of The Sun's No Time 2 Lose campaign
Bowel cancer screening in the UK is to start at 50 after the success of The Sun’s No Time 2 Lose campaign
Alamy

Bowel cancer is the 2nd deadliest form of cancer, claiming 16,000 lives a year, but it CAN be cured if it’s caught early enough.

Fewer than one in ten people survive bowel cancer if it’s picked up at stage 4, but detected quickly, more than nine in ten patients will live five years or longer.

That’s why The Sun has called on the Governement to offer a simple poo test to everyone, every two years, from their 50th birthday.

Today following a review of the evidence by the UK’s National Screening Committee, health secretary Matt Hancock has agreed to lower the screening age.

Lauren Backler started a petition calling for the screening age to be lowered to 50 after losing her mum Fiona to the disease at 55
Lauren Backler started a petition calling for the screening age to be lowered to 50 after losing her mum Fiona to the disease at 55
Lauren Backler

The committee recommends screening using the new faecal immunochemical home test kit (FIT), should be offered to everyone aged 50 to 74.

Until now the test had only been offered to people on their 60th birthday.

Campaigner Lauren Backler started a petition urging the Government to lower the screening age to 50 after losing her mum at 55.

Fiona Backler died just three months after she was diagnosed with the disease.

Channelling her anger at losing her mum, Lauren, 27, gathered more than 479,000 signatures delivering the petition to the Department of Health in April.

Stepping off a flight from Thailand to hear the news, she told The Sun: “I feel like crying, what fantastic news.”

Screening people at a younger age would enable more cases of bowel cancer to be picked up at an earlier stage, where treatment is likely to be more effective and survival chances improved.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, and Public Health Minister, Steve Brine, have today agreed the recommendations.

Professor Anne Mackie, Director of Screening at Public Health England, said: “The risk of bowel cancer rises steeply from around age 50-54 and rates are significantly higher among males than females.

“Starting screening ten years earlier at 50 will help spot more abnormalities at an early stage that could develop into bowel cancer if not detected.

“The committee recognises that this change will take time but wants the FIT test to be offered to all aged 60 and over as soon as possible, and options considered for a roll out plan where screening can be offered at 55 and eventually to all aged 50 – ensuring we have the best bowel screening programme possible.”

Public Health Minister, Steve Brine added: “We are determined to make our cancer survival rates the best in the world.

“With the roll out of FIT as a new bowel screening test from the autumn – a much more convenient and reliable test – we have a real opportunity to reshape our bowel screening programme and potentially detect the stages of bowel cancer much earlier.

“We are now considering opportunities and taking expert advice on how a sustainable, optimal bowel cancer screening programme starting at age 50 can work in the future.”


Bowel cancer is the UK’s 2nd deadliest cancer, claiming 16,000 lives a year, but it can be cured – if it’s caught early enough.

Fewer than one in ten people survive bowel cancer if it’s picked up at stage 4, but detected quickly, more than nine in ten patients will live five years or longer.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “These important recommendations will be carefully considered in the NHS Long Term Plan, which will set out ambitious improvements in cancer prevention and care for the decade ahead.”


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Source: thesun
Victory for The Sun and campaigners as Government lowers bowel cancer screening age to 50