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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Posted by Parveen Hassan
| 14:00
Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, attended a Westminster reception hosted by the charity Beating Bowel Cancer to hear the case for reducing the bowel cancer screening age. 

On 25th January, the MP joined other Members of Parliament, bowel cancer patients and families, health professionals and members of the charity at the reception. They heard that variations in the screening age across the UK could be leading to thousands of bowel cancer patients in their 50s having a delayed diagnosis. 

The charity called for the screening age in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to be lowered from the age of 60 to 50, to bring it in line with Scotland. 
Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but this doesn’t have to be the case. Being diagnosed with bowel cancer at the earliest stage offers a 97% survival rate. But without screening, the majority of patients between 50 and 59 may not be diagnosed until a later stage through their GP or A&E. At that point the cancer can be more difficult to treat and if diagnosed at a late stage their survival odds could be as little as 7%. 

Dame Caroline said: “Having had friends who have lost their battle with Bowel Cancer, I recently met with representatives from the charity, Beating Bowel Cancer in Parliament. Following this meeting I am delighted to pledge my support for their campaign to improve bowel cancer screening in the Meriden constituency and across the UK. 

“Bowel cancer is one of the biggest killers in the country and can easily remain undetected without appropriate screening. We all need to do our bit to support any improvements to early diagnosis rates if we are to reduce the number of deaths associated with bowel cancer.”