Disappointing take-up of bowel cancer screening in Harborough area

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Thousands of people in the Harborough area are missing out on free bowel cancer screening tests according to the NHS.

Next month is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Public Health England is using the event to try and increase the number of people taking up the screening tests.

About 61 per cent of eligible people over 60 in the East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG area, which includes Harborough, have taken the test.

Across the East Midlands, the average take-up is 58 per cent.

Bowel cancer is the nation’s second biggest cancer killer – about 3,500 people a month are diagnosed and 1,300 die of the disease.

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “It’s quite simple, bowel cancer screening saves lives.

“It’s predicted that even using the current test, the screening programme will save over 2,000 lives each year by 2025.

“I would encourage everyone who’s over 60 to take the test, and for those who are younger to encourage their loved ones over 60 to complete it. It could save yours or your loved ones life.

“Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of taking part in bowel cancer screening.

“Bowel Cancer UK’s award-winning health promotion team is looking for work places and community groups in the local area to host a talk about screening in April. The 30 minute talk is delivered by a trained health promotion volunteer, who often has a personal experience of bowel cancer.”

To find out more about bowel cancer and screening, visit: www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk.