Cancer survival rates greatly increased by early detection

Cancer isn’t what it used to be. More people are surviving than ever before, thanks to research breakthroughs, treatment advances and finding cancer early.

By Kevin McRoberts
Saturday, 24th October 2015, 12:00 pm
Actress Carole Cassidy (front) in the TV advert encouraging people aged over 50 to take a bowel cancer screening test.

There are around 176,000 people in Scotland who have been diagnosed with cancer over the last 20 years and who are still alive.

One of the most treatable cancers is bowel cancer – when it’s found early, it can often be cured . In fact, you’re 14 times more likely to survive when it’s found at an early stage compared to a late stage.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland – it’s more common in people aged over 50, especially men.

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That’s why everyone between the ages of 50 and 74 is sent a bowel cancer screening test every two years. It’s the most effective way to find bowel cancer early, as it can spot hidden blood in your poo.

The Scottish Government’s new Detect Cancer Early campaign is underway to encourage those currently putting off doing their test to reconsider and join the ‘bowel movement’ as it could save their life.

A TV advert features a number of people who do their test, including actress Carole Cassidy, who has taken the test a couple of times, and thinks the campaign will get people talking.

She said: “When I first received the test it took me a few weeks to do it, but I eventually got on with it and sent it away. It was great to get the letter back saying everything was fine. Doing the test for the second time was a bit of an easier process, and I wouldn’t hesitate to take it again.”

There are a few famous faces in the advert who are advocates of the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme, including actress Clare Grogan and comedian Fred MacAulay.

Fred said: “There have been incidences of bowel cancer amongst my friends and family, and because of screening, they’ve survived. I do my test every two years and think the screening we’re offered in this country is a great thing. I’d encourage everyone who is invited to take the test.”

Visit the website for more information or call 0800 0121 833 to request a replacement bowel screening test.