Beating bowel cancer together

Our work in Scotland

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland. Every year more than 3,700 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in Scotland and around 1,600 people die from the disease. However bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.

We undertake a range of activities in Scotland as part of our work to save lives and have a team based in our office in Edinburgh.

We raise awareness

Volunteers in Scotland, who have been affected by bowel cancer in some way, deliver talks to groups in local communities and workplaces helping people to understand the signs and symptoms and risk factors. Book a talk

If you live in Scotland and would like to become an awareness volunteer click here

We provide information

We publish a wide range of free patient information covering all aspects of bowel cancer; from treatment and surgery to dietary advice and much more. Our booklets and factsheets are used by many hospitals and are given to patients when they are newly diagnosed or at certain points throughout the course of their treatment. For information on how to download or order our information, click here.

We educate professionals about the disease

We have delivered a wide range of training and education across Scotland – including GP masterclasses, nurse study days and screening workshops. Over 2018-19, with the support of the Scottish Government’s screening inequalities fund, we delivered tailored training to learning disability healthcare professionals.  

If you want to learn more, get in touch by email.

We campaign

Our campaigning and policy work covers issues affecting people right across the UK and we include the experience of people in Scotland in all our work.

Early diagnosis

In 2018 we launched our Endoscopy Campaign in Scotland: ‘right test right time’ when statistics revealed that 66% of Health Boards were in breach of the national waiting time standard of less than 5% of patients waiting longer than six weeks for tests that could diagnose bowel cancer.

The waiting time breaches presented a worrying picture and demonstrated the urgent need for the Scottish Government to develop a plan of action to tackle the growing endoscopy crisis in Scotland. As a result of our ongoing campaigning, the national Endoscopy Action Plan was published in March 2019. Read more about the story here.

Lynch Syndrome

Our 'Time to Test' campaigning work in Scotland, which focusses on Lynch Syndrome, has found that 50% of health boards test bowel cancer patients under 60 for Lynch syndrome – in line with the Scottish Molecular Pathology Consortium guidelines. In addition to this, a further 43% of health boards test all bowel cancer patients for Lynch syndrome – over and above the country’s recommendations. However, only three health boards (21%) follow best practice to test all bowel cancer patients for Lynch syndrome at the point of their diagnosis. Read more about this story here

You can campaign with us and sign up as a campaign supporter to help us improve early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care for all those affected. Sign up and support our campaigns.

Bowel Cancer Champions

We are asking Members of Scottish Parliament to join us as bowel cancer champions. These politicians will work with us to improve early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care both in their constituency and nationally. By bringing people together, such as patients and families, doctors and nurses, scientists and politicians we will create a future where nobody dies of the disease. Find out if your MSPs are bowel cancer champions here.

We work with others

We're passionate about collaborating and working with others to improve outcomes for people with cancer and are involved in a number of groups and boards.

We have representations on a number of groups including:

  • The Scottish Cancer Coalition
  • The Detect Cancer Early Programme Board
  • Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Cancer
  • Scottish Cancer Taskforce
  • The Scottish Cancer Prevention Network
  • The Scottish Health Technologies Group
  • National Colorectal Liver Metastases Collaboration
  • Scottish Government Screening Inequalities Network


For more information and to feed in any issues through these groups, contact Claire Donaghy, Head of Scotland.

We encourage people to take part in bowel screening

Bowel cancer screening can save lives but at the moment in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the chance to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat. Find out more about bowel screening in Scotland

We fundraise

We are determined to save lives from bowel cancer but we can’t do this without you. There are lots of ways you can support us in Scotland and help fund vital services and lifesaving research to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer.

Improving Surgery, Saving Lives appeal

In 2018, we launched an appeal for Scotland – to invest in research aimed at improving surgery for bowel cancer. In partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, we have committed to investing £430,000 into a Research Chair position based in Scotland.

We would like to thank the following organisations and groups who have supported our appeal to date.

  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • Surgeons Quarter
  • Hebridean Men's Cancer Support Group
  • Skyscanner
  • Phoenix Car Company
  • Scotland’s Life Sciences Awards


We still have a way to go before we reach our target. For more information on how you can support us, please get in touch with the team in Scotland on or 0131 281 7351.

Contact us

Bowel Cancer UK
Hayweight House
23 Lauriston Street
Call us 0131 281 7351


Our team in Scotland:

Claire Donaghy, Head of Scotland

Email Claire

Claire Finlayson, Senior Health Promotion and Training Officer

Email Claire

Ross Lamb, Health Promotion and Training Officer 

Email Ross

Emma McGeever, Fundraising Manager 

Email Emma

Emma Boffey, Community and Events Fundraiser 

Email Emma

Your support helps save lives. Donate now and help us ensure a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.
Your support helps save lives. Donate now and help us ensure a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.

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