Never Too Young
Never Too Young is leading change for younger bowel cancer patients. The campaign is giving younger patients a voice and changing clinical practice and policy to stop bowel cancer in people under 50.
Every year 2,400 younger people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK. While this is only five per cent of those diagnosed, this number is slowly increasing. Our research has shown that younger bowel cancer patients have a very different experience of diagnosis, treatment and care.
What are the issues?
- Delays in diagnosis - younger patients report having to see their GP many times, sometimes more than five times, before being referred for crucial diagnostic tests.
- Access to genetic testing – patients diagnosed with bowel cancer under the age of 50 should be tested for Lynch syndrome - a genetic condition that can put them at higher risk of developing bowel cancer. Yet many are still not being tested and access to regular colonoscopy , which can help to prevent bowel cancer and diagnose it early, is patchy across the UK.
- A lack of awareness - the majority of younger patients were not aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer, and were not aware of bowel cancer as a disease younger people could get. This has led to delays in going to the GP to seek help.
What are we calling for?
- Improved clinical guidance and practice on bowel cancer in younger people
- Improved identification of people with genetic conditions and access to surveillance screening
- Improved information for younger people on bowel cancer symptoms
What have we achieved so far?
Since we launched the Never Too Young campaign in 2013, we have made much progress. This includes:
- Changing GP referral guidelines to include younger people for the first time
- Commissioning research that will help GPs better identify bowel cancer in younger patients
- Leading a global Never Too Young coalition
How can you get involved?
- Read our Never Too Young reports
- Download or order our guide 'Younger people with bowel cancer: a guide for the under 50s'
- Help us to fund research into bowel cancer in younger people
- Become a campaign supporter and help lead the lead change for younger people
- Share your story. If you’ve been diagnosed with bowel cancer at a young age we want to hear from you