Beating bowel cancer together

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

Find out more about bowel screening in Wales.

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.

Join us

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.

Keep up to date with our latest training, education and study days

 

We campaign

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.

Early diagnosis >>
 
Our campaign 'Right test, Right time' highlights the challenges facing endoscopy services across the UK and in 2018, we launched a Spotlight on Wales report focussing specifically on the challenges that exist around early diagnosis in Wales. Our report, which received excellent media coverage, showed us that Wales has some of the poorest outcomes for bowel cancer across Europe and that the Welsh Government and the NHS in Wales must urgently review the way diagnostic services are delivered.

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.

In addition to securing the Health Committee Enquiry on endoscopy, we have worked with the Wales Cancer Network to establish a Bowel Cancer Initiative and have supported the first Bowel Cancer Clincial Lead in Wales. This post will work to provide leadership and oversight of all the various work strands which the NHS is delivering to improve bowel cancer outcomes in Wales. By championing bowel cancer in the clinical community and providing strategic direction and guidance the Bowel Cancer Initiative will drive up standards of care and deliver improved outcomes for all those affected by the disease.
 
Lynch Syndrome >>
 
In 2018, our 'Time to Test' campaigning work in Wales which focusses on Lynch Syndrome showed that none of the seven health boards in Wales were delivering universal testing for Lynch Syndrome as recommended by NICE. These guidelines state that everyone who is diagnosed with bowel cancer should be tested for this genetic condition which makes individuals more likely to get the disease. At the time, we campaigned in the media, wrote to the Chief Medical Officer in Wales for assurance that this would be addressed.
 
In April 2019, we celebrated a campaign win! Following a collaborative effort by colleagues at the All Wales Medical Genetic Service, the Wales Cancer Network and ourselves, Senior leaders in NHS Wales committed to funding and supporting a new all Wales service which means, from June 2019, every health board in Wales will follow NICE guidelines to test ALL bowel cancer patients for Lynch syndrome. Read more about this story here.
 
Assembly Members debate bowel cancer >>
 
Issues around endoscopy waiting times, Lynch Syndrome and the introduction of a new screening test called a faecal immunochemical test (FIT) were some of the main issues raised during a recent debate at the National Assembly for Wales where several Assembly Members spoke in support of our Spotlight on Wales report and the need to improve services across all Health Boards in Wales. The Cabinet Secretary for Health gave a comprehensive response to the issues debated and reassurance that challenges around Wales’ diagnostic services, the roll out of FIT and also Lynch Syndrome were very much in hand. Read about the debate, Assembly Members support and watch it back here.
 
Become a campaign supporter >>
 
With your support, we can achieve so much more! With help from our campaigners we have secured universal lynch syndrome testing for ALL bowel cancer patients in Wales; our supporters have provided evidence to the Assembly Health Committee to put pressure on the Welsh Government and the NHS to take steps to solve the crisis in our endoscopy services. Alongside the wonderful supporters in England, our Wales campaigners helped to secure agreement from the Welsh Government to lower the screening age for screening from 60 to 50. You too can help make a difference, please sign up here.
 

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:

 

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.

Find out more about the Moondance Cancer Initiative

We fundraise

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.

 

Join us

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

Contact us

Email: walesadmin@bowelcanceruk.org.uk

 

Claire Donaghy, Head of External Affairs (Devolved Nations)

Email Claire

Mike Locke, Wales and Scotland Fundraising Manager

Email Mike

Sian Salkeld, Wales Programme Lead

Email Sian

Our scientific and medical advisors

We have three clinicians based in Wales who sit on our medical advisory board and scientific advisory board. Professor Richard Adams, Professor Jared Torkington and Dr Sunil Dolwani help to provide expert advice and guidance to the charity and board of trustees.
 

Professor Richard Adams

 

Professor Jared Torkington

 

Dr Sunil Dolwani

 
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.

Thanks supporter

Thanks for signing up for this great campaign. To complete the setup of your JustGiving page you need to first create an account for myemail@domain.tld, please enter a new password to use below. Alternatively if you already have an account and would like to use it just click here.

Thanks supporter

Thanks for signing up for this great campaign. To complete the setup of your JustGiving page you need to login to your myemail@domain.tld account, please enter the password for that account below. Alternatively if you have a different account you would like to use just click here.

Forgotten password

Hi supporter, do you want to send a password reminder?.

JustGiving Login

Hi supporter, please enter your JustGiving login details below and we'll handle the rest.