Our work in Wales
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Wales. Every year more than 2,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in Wales and over 900 people die from the disease. However bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.
We undertake a range of activities in Wales as part of our work to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer.
We encourage people to take part in the screening programme
In Wales the bowel cancer screening programme is available to all 60-74 year olds. The Welsh Government has committed to reducing the screening age to 50 by 2021.
What does the screening test look for?
- The screening test looks for hidden blood in your poo.
- Blood in your poo can be a sign of bowel cancer or of other changes such as polyps (small growths).
- Most polyps are harmless but some can lead to bowel cancer. Most polyps can be easily removed.
- Sometimes the blood can be there because a polyp has bled.
- There may also be other reasons for the blood, such as haemorrhoids (piles) or small tears in the bowel.
- The test kit does not tell you if you have bowel cancer. The results will tell you if you need further tests such as a colonoscopy (a camera inserted into your bottom).
In Wales, only 58% of people invited to take part in screening actually do so. We need to do better. Thousands of people are missing out on the chance to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat, or prevent bowel cancer developing in the first place through the removal of high risk polyps. If you'd like to order a replacement test kit, you can easily do this. Just click here.
We raise awareness
Volunteers in Wales, who've been affected by bowel cancer in some way, deliver online bowel cancer awareness talks to workplaces and community groups, helping people to understand the signs, symptoms, and risk factors, as well as the importance of screening. Find out more and book a talk.
We're always on the look out for people to join our volunteer team. If you live in Wales and are interested in this role, 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 across many health and social care settings across Wales and are given to patients in hospital when they are newly diagnosed or at certain points throughout the course of their treatment. For further information please follow this link.
We connect people
For those who would like to chat with other people who have experienced bowel cancer, please do visit our Online Community. Whether living with or beyond bowel cancer or you're a loved one of someone who is, our online community is a place for anyone affected by bowel cancer to talk openly about their experiences, share their knowledge and support each other.
We support healthcare professionals
We provide training, support and guidance to healthcare professionals. Find out more here.
We act as the Secretariat for the National Colorectal Cancer Nursing Network (NCCNN). This network exists to encourage sharing of best practice among the colorectal cancer nurse community. Sign up to the network here and join the Facebook page today to share ideas and chat to your peers.
Our campaigning and policy work covers issues affecting people right across the UK and we include the experience of people in Wales in all our work.
During the Summer of 2018, we worked closely with the Health and Social Care Committee to secure a One Day Inquiry looking at the state of endoscopy services in Wales. We gave evidence to the Inquiry in November 2018 and the report was published in April 2019. The report made one overarching recommendation, that being for the newly developed National Endoscopy Programme to publish and action plan within six months. This Action Plan was published on time and will be reviewed once again by the Health Committee in October 2020.
We work with others
We love to collaborate and work with others to improve outcomes for people with cancer and are involved in a number of groups, alliances and boards which means we can bring all the evidence we have to bear upon bowel and wider cancer policy development in Wales.
We have representations on a number of groups, alliances and boards including:
- Bowel Screening Wales' Programme Board and FIT Optimisation Board
- Wales Cancer Alliance
- Cancer Implementation Group (CIG) sub group on Detecting Cancer Early
- Endoscopy Programme Operational Delivery Group
- Health and Care Research Wales Public Involvement Delivery Board
Single Cancer Pathway Implementation Group
Moondance Cancer Initiative
Many of our services in Wales are funded until 2024 by the Moondance Cancer Initiative (part of the Moondance Foundation), which aims to accelerate significant and sustained improvements in cancer outcomes across Wales. Thanks to funding from the Moondance Foundation, motivated partners from across the bowel cancer community will work together to deliver a series of activities to improve all areas of the bowel cancer patient pathway.
Some of the work the Moondance Cancer Initiative is supporting us to deliver:
- Developing our support services in Wales for bowel cancer patients and their loved ones
- Develop ways for bowel cancer patients to be involved and engaged in improving their care and support across the country
- Educating and supporting healthcare professionals in Wales, including work with community pharmacies
- Raising awareness of bowel screening and the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer by growing our volunteer base across Wales to deliver awareness activity.
We're determined to help save lives but we can't do this without you. There are lots of ways you can support us in Wales to help us to stop people dying of bowel cancer.
- Fundraise for us in Wales
- Take part in Brew Together
- Organise your own fundraising event
- Become a corporate partner
- Make a donation
Our supporters and volunteers make change happen. Every bake sale, run, corporate partnership, awareness talk and donation brings us a step closer to stopping bowel cancer.
We're working hard with researchers across the UK. We're campaigning at the heart of Welsh Government. We support patients and their families, and we're educating people about bowel cancer.
We're always looking for people to join us by helping us make change happen. Please take a look at the ways you can support us by clicking here. Thank you / Diolch.
Our team in Wales