Monday, 6 August 2012

Over-60s urged to perform bowel cancer test as scientists reveal they DO boost chances of survival

People aged over 60 have been urged to have regular bowel cancer screenings after scientists found those who did had a better chance of survival.

Experts said those who performed the test at home and went to subsequent appointments were more likely to be diagnosed at an earlier stage than those diagnosed from their symptoms.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women, with around 40,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year.

Researchers looked at people aged 60 to 69 who were diagnosed with the disease in the West Midlands between January 2006 and September 2011.

They compared the stage at diagnosis in patients picked up at screening compared to those diagnosed from symptoms.

They found that 18.5 per cent of bowel cancers detected through screening were at the earliest stages compared with 9.4 per cent of cancers diagnosed through symptomatic routes.

Sam Johnson, lead researcher based at the West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit, said: 'When bowel cancer is diagnosed at an earlier stage, it's easier to treat, has a lower chance of coming back and better survival rates.

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