Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Bowel cancer survival rates improve

  • Comment

Bowel cancer need not be a death sentence, say experts at the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) and the Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service (NYCRIS).

They report that nine out of 10 people diagnosed with the disease in its early stages will survive, largely thanks to better NHS surgical techniques.

However, early diagnosis is the key, and they warn that survival may depend on immediately reporting symptoms and having them checked promptly.

They considered every case diagnosed in England between 1996 and 2006, and the percentage that survived for at least five years. Of 308,734 patients, 26,727 were diagnosed in the early stages and 93% were still alive five years later.

Bowel cancer is divided into four stages - A, B, C, and D - with stage A being the earliest, during which only about 13% of cases are diagnosed. Five-year survival for this group is about 50% overall.

Both organisations are backing the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, which will distribute home-testing kits across England by the end of this year.

Paul Finan, a bowel cancer surgeon and chair of the NCIN’s bowel cancer group, said: ‘Improvements in surgery include using less invasive techniques, and patients receiving better care around the time of surgery, like more sophisticated anaesthetic care and better care during hospital admission and recovery.’

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.