This week I attended a Westminster reception hosted by the charity Beating Bowel Cancer in a bid to raise awareness of the disease.
I joined my colleagues, bowel cancer patients and survivors, health professionals and members of the charity to hear more about how improving earlier diagnosis of the disease can increase survival rates. Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but this doesn’t have to be the case; if caught early over 90% of those diagnosed can survive more than five years. That figure drops to just 7% if they are diagnosed at a late stage.
It was good to hear Beating Bowel Cancer’s plans for the future and pleased to pledge my support for them. We all need to do our bit to keep bowel cancer at the forefront of the agenda and to ensure that the Government focuses on increasing efforts to improve early diagnosis rates, if the disease is to become a rare killer rather than one of biggest cancer killers in the country, as it is today.
I was told that over the time of the reception, four people would have died from bowel cancer; eight people would have been diagnosed with it. We must work together to change this.