Bowel cancer screening in England should in future start 10 years earlier at age 50, the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) has recommended.
Men and women in England, aged 60 to 74, are currently invited for bowel screening and are sent a home test kit every two years to provide stool samples.
Following a review, the committee has recommended that screening should be offered from aged 50 to 74 using the faecal immunochemical home test kit (FIT).
According to the UK NSC, research shows that screening people at a younger age would allow more bowel cancers to be detected at an earlier stage, when treatment is likely to more effective and survival chances improved.
Professor Anne Mackie, Director of Screening at Public Health England, says the risk of bowel cancer rises steeply from around age 50 to 54, with rates significantly higher among males.
“Starting screening ten years earlier at 50 will help spot more abnormalities at an early stage that could develop into bowel cancer if not detected,” added Professor Mackie.
The UK National Screening Committee is independent of, but supported by Public Health England.
Image source: BowelScreen.ie
For further information on the recommendation, click here - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bowel-screening-to-start-at-50
For more information in relation to the National Bowel Screening Programme in the Republic of Ireland, click here - https://www.bowelscreen.ie/
For information in relation to the Northern Ireland Bowel Screening Programme, click here -