REVEALED: Only three in five people in Lancashire and South Cumbria are using NHS free bowel cancer screening tests

Four in ten people living in Lancashire and South Cumbria ignore the bowel cancer screening test, according to a leading cancer charity.

Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 1:01 am
Only three in five people in Lancashire and South Cumbria are using the NHS' free bowel cancer screening tests (Photo: PA)

New figures released by Bowel Cancer UK reveal that on average, only 61 per cent of people living in Lancashire and South Cumbria are taking advantage of a free bowel cancer screening test that has the potential to save lives.

Bowel Cancer UK is now urging people living in the region to take part in the screening programme.

The charity was revealed that the bottom three areas that need to see the most improvement are Blackburn with Darwen (55 per cent), Blackpool (56 per cent), and East Lancashire (61 per cent).

Advice from charity Bowel Cancer UK

The top three areas with the highest uptake are Morecambe Bay (66 per cent), Fylde and Wyre (66 per cent), and Chorley and South Ribble (63 per cent).

The Greater Preston area lies somewhere in the middle with 62.5 per cent of people taking up the screening.

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive for Bowel Cancer UK, says: “It’s quite simple, bowel cancer screening saves lives. I would encourage everyone who’s over 60 to take the test, and for those who are younger to encourage their loved ones over 60 to complete it. It could save yours or your loved ones life.

“Bowel Cancer UK joined with Beating Bowel Cancer to create a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.

62.5 per cent of people in the Greater Preston area are taking up the screening (Photo: PA)

"We’re determined to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by the disease.

"Taking part in screening is the best way to get diagnosed early when treatment is more likely to be successful. Early diagnosis really does save lives.”

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme can detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms when it is easier to treat and there is a greater chance of survival.

If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60 to 74, you will receive a test in the post every two years. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

Almost 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the UK and more than 16,000 people die from the disease.

The charity is raising awareness of the importance of bowel cancer screening, as part of their announcement of their new brand following the merger of Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK in January 2018.