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Scots urged to test for bowel cancer

Screening tests sent to 80,000 people over 50

Jo Carlowe

Monday, 13 January 2014

Over 80,000 Scots will receive a bowel cancer screening test through their letterbox when they turn 50 this year.

Almost 4,000 Scots are diagnosed every year in Scotland, making it the third biggest cancer in Scotland. It is one of three tumour types (breast, bowel and lung) being targeted by the Scottish Government’s £30 million Detect Cancer Early programme, which aims to increase the proportion of cancers diagnosed in the first stage of the disease by 25% by 2015.

The bowel screening test will be sent to all Scots aged 50-74. Currently, just over half (54.9%) of those eligible for the programme actually do the bowel screening test.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “We know that nine out of 10 people will survive bowel cancer if it is detected early.

“With that in mind, I would encourage everyone who gets a test through their letterbox in 2014 to take the time to complete it. Having done the test myself I know how simple it is to do and the results could make a big a difference to your life.

“Let’s make 2014 the year that we do even more to improve cancer survival rates. Don’t get scared, get checked.”

More women than men participate in the screening programme with 58% of women returning their kits and 52% of men.

People in Shetland are the best at returning completed test kits with 64.5% participating in the bowel screening programme.

Currently the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme invites all men and women in Scotland aged 50 – 74 to participate in screening every two years.

The programme was extended in April 2013, so that those over the age of 74 can self-refer every two years by requesting a screening kit through the Scottish Bowel Screening.

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