Take part in bowel cancer screening

A GROUNDBREAKING campaign has been launched to encourage people between the ages of 50 and 74 to participate in bowel screening.

The advert features the voice of ‘Still Game’ star Ford Kiernan speaking to a man sitting on the toilet, encouraging him to take the bowel screening test.

It carries the message ‘Bowel Cancer. Don’t Take A Chance. Take The Test’ and aims to highlight the fact that bowel cancer is a ‘hidden’ cancer, because the early signs are often not visible.

It also promotes the message that nine out of 10 people will survive bowel cancer if it is detected early.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland. A lot of people are unaware that the early signs of bowel cancer can be hidden and that participating in the bowel screening programme gives the best chance of detecting cancer early.

“The earlier bowel cancer is detected the easier it is to treat and the better the chance of a successful outcome. That is why bowel screening is so important.

“I would urge all men and women, between 50 and 74 to do their screening test when it comes through their door.”

Only 54.5 per cent of those people invited, participate in the bowel screening programme.

However, statistics show that people are 45 per cent more likely to survive bowel cancer compared to 30 years ago.

The five-year survival rate for bowel cancer increased from 37 per cent between 1983 to 1987, to 54 per cent between 2003 and 2007.

Currently the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme invites all men and women aged 50 – 74 to participate in screening every two years.

From April 2013, the programme will be extended so that those over the age of 74 will be able to self-refer every two years by requesting a screening kit through the Scottish Bowel Screening Helpline.