Bowel cancer screening should be extended

The digestive health of people from all walks of life should be considered when planning bowel cancer screening programmes, according to a University of Edinburgh professor.

Dr David Weller told medical journal Gut that uptake across the population as a whole stands at around 55 to 60 per cent, but that actual levels are around half that amount in some communities.
For instance, only around three in ten people from south-Asian subgroups generally take part in screening, revealed Dr Weller, a professor at the university’s Centre for Population Health Sciences.

“We really need to be putting a lot more effort into trying to reduce these inequalities in uptake, because they do appear to be quite resilient,” he remarked.
The medical expert attributed the issue to the opt-in system for screening that is currently in operation for people outside of certain age groups.
Just under 40,000 Britons are diagnosed with the condition every year, according to figures from charity Bowel Cancer UK.