I had the opportunity recently in Westminster to meet up with an organisation called Beating Bowel Cancer. Every half an hour, someone in the UK dies of bowel cancer, the second biggest cancer killer.
Positive improvements are happening all the time in bowel cancer diagnosis, treatment and care. But we need to do better. Bowel cancer can be beaten if we act to diagnose more people early and we deliver the best possible care and treatment.
If diagnosed at stage 1, 97% of people survive for five years or more. If diagnosed at stage 4, 7% of people survive for five years or more.
Up to 30 April 2015 in the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme, over 2.1 million people were invited for screening. More than 1.3 million people took up the offer and achieved a final result, with over 4,100 cancers diagnosed through screening.
The best way to reduce mortality from bowel cancer is through earlier diagnosis and treatment. Those aged between 50 and 74 are invited for bowel screening, which is a simple test taken at home every two years. Make sure you take the test. It could save your life.