Bowel Cancer UK launches ambitious research goals

Bowel Cancer UK has unveiled plans to become the UK’s leading research and campaigning charity dedicated to stopping bowel cancer for good.

The charity says it wants to be bold and ambitious by investing in research and measures which can improve survival rates in bowel cancer, which still lag behind other types of cancer.

It says it will focus on improving access to early diagnosis, and best treatment and care by ‘unlocking the reasons people die, piece by piece.’

Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK said, “We’ve had enough of the misery caused by this appalling disease. So we are re-doubling our efforts and determination to lead the change needed to stop people dying of bowel cancer.”

“Our pledge today is bold: We WILL transform survival rates, from only 1 in every 2 people surviving over five years, to 3 out of 4 people surviving bowel cancer by 2025. That’s only 10 years away so it’s ambitious but we are very determined and will dedicate ourselves to making this a reality.”

The charity’s campaign ‘Help us to STOP bowel cancer‘ aims to raise funds and campaign for better prevention and care for patients.

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, but the charity says it is often overlooked and diagnosed too late. Every year over 41,500 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer which equates to a diagnosis every 15 minutes and around 16,000 people die of the disease, more than either breast or prostate cancer.

Professor Richard Wilson, professor in Cancer Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast and member of Bowel Cancer UK’s Medical Advisory Board, supported the announcement, saying: “While remarkable progress has been made in recent years in bowel cancer research, we need to do much more to improve prevention and early diagnosis and provide the best treatment and care for those with all stages of bowel cancer.

In England, a national NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme has been in place since 2006, with evidence to show it is detecting many more early cases of the disease – these sort of interventions will have to be expanded to help prevent patients being diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer.

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