Steve McCabe MP backs call for lowering of bowel cancer screening age

Steve McCabe MP is backing Beating Bowel Cancer’s call to reduce the bowel cancer screening age from 60 to 50.

Steve met with campaigners, bowel cancer patients and families, health professionals and members of the Beating Bowel Cancer charity and learnt that variations in the screening age across the UK could be leading to thousands of bowel cancer patients in their 50shaving a delayed diagnosis.


The charity called for the screening age in England, Wales and Northern Irelandto 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%.

Mr McCabe said:

“We all need to do our bit to support any improvements to early diagnosis ratesif we are to stop bowel cancer being one of biggest cancer killers in the country.

“I know that last year figures revealed that the uptake for screening in South Birmingham is below 50%, it’s vital that those who do receive a test pack in the post actually take the test.  It is important that we maximise the chances of beating bowel cancer through early diagnosis but it is also important that we spread awareness to make sure people are taking the tests.”

To find out more about bowel cancer please visit the charity’s website www.beatingbowelcancer.orgor call their Nurse Helpline on 020 8973 0011.

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Steve McCabe

Steve McCabe is the Labour MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak, and has been an MP continuously since 1 May 1997.

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