Thursday, 8 March 2012

'Screen men at 50 for bowel cancer and save thousands of lives': Charity wants to bring down age of testing by ten years

Thousands of lives could be saved if the age at which men are screened for bowel cancer is lowered by ten years, the head of a leading charity has claimed.

Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, called on the Government to lower the current screening age from 60 to 50 after a major study found the disease is far more common in men in their early 50s than previously thought.

The recent study, the biggest of its kind, revealed that nearly one in five men between 50 and 60 had potentially cancerous tumours, compared with just one in ten in woman from the same age range.

The findings are the most significant evidence so far to support the case for a lower screening age and are likely to put pressure on ministers to reconsider their stance.

More than 16,000 people a year in Britain die of bowel cancer, making it the second biggest killer after lung cancer.

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