More than 2,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in Wales and over 900 people die from the disease.
It’s the second biggest cancer killer in the country, despite being treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.
Bowel screening 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.
Bowel Screening Wales is raising awareness of the importance of bowel cancer screening as part of the 10 year anniversary of the test’s introduction in Wales.
Since October 2008:
- Bowel Screening Wales has sent out 808,500 screening tests to people aged 60-74 living across the country
- 22,500 people living in Wales have received a positive result and been invited to their local hospital for further tests
- 19,100 people have had a colonoscopy
- 2,300 people have been diagnosed with bowel cancer
On average, only 53% of people living in Wales are taking advantage of a free bowel screening test that has the potential to save lives.
Uptake rates for bowel cancer screening are low with little variation across the country.
The bottom three areas where improvement is needed are Merthyr Tydfil (49%), Cardiff (49%) and Wrexham (50%).
Bowel Screening Wales has been marking its tenth anniversary by visiting low-uptake areas to encourage people to take part in the screening programme.
As a team, we have also been supporting charitable fundraising events including the Cardiff 10k and Bowel Cancer UK’s Walk Together event.
We will also be holding a learning and celebration event for PHW staff in November to mark the anniversary of the programme and to share learning across our multi-disciplinary team.