A journalist's guide
The facts about bowel cancer
Here are some useful statistics to give you an overview of bowel cancer in the UK:
- Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after breast, prostate and lung cancers. However, it is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,200 lives a year, that's over 44 people every day.
- Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer. That’s over 41,000 people every year. Every 30 minutes in the UK someone dies from bowel cancer.
- Around 268,000 people living in the UK today have been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
- More than nine out of ten new cases (94%) are diagnosed in people over the age of 50, and nearly six out of ten cases (58%) are diagnosed in people aged 70 or over. But bowel cancer can affect any age. More than 2,400 people under 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year.
- 1 in 14 men and 1 in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime.
- Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer. However this drops significantly as the disease develops.
Who are we?
We are the UK's leading bowel cancer research charity. We are determined to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer.
- We support and enable research
- We campaign
- We provide expert information and education
- We fundraise to save lives
A little bit about our history:
- We were first set up by Patrick Dolan as The Britta Dolan Memorial Cancer Fund in 1987, after his wife, Britta Dolan, dies from bowel cancer
- In 2005, we changed our name to Bowel Cancer UK to convey the national nature of our work and reflect the increasingly widespread use of the term bowel cancer to describe the disease
- In 2008 we won the first ever European grant made by the US based Amgen Foundation, to help raise awareness of the disease amongst BME communities and increase their take up of screening
- In 2013 we launch our Never Too Young campaign to improve the diagnosis, treatment and care of younger bowel cancer patients
- We announced our move into research in 2015
Awards and accreditations
- Our CEO Deborah Alsina was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours list 2016, in recognition of her service to bowel cancer patients
- British Medical Association (BMA) Patient Information Award for our learning disability resource (2013, 2014)
- Royal Society of Public Health Health & Wellbeing Award for our health promotion volunteer programme (2015)
- British Medical Association (BMA) Patient Information Self-care Award for our 'Your Diet: Living with and Beyond Bowel Cancer' (2015)
- Charity of the Year at the Charity Times Awards 2016, as well as being shortlisted for Campaigning Team of the Year
- BMA Patient Information Awards 2016 Highly Commended our 'Younger people with bowel cancer:a guide for the under 50s'
- Shortlisted for Campaigning Team of the Year at the Charity Times Awards 2017
- Our CEO, Deborah Alsina MBE, won Chief Executive of the Year at the Third Sector Awards 2017
Interviews and case studies
We have a range of spokespeople and case studies available for interview to talk about our work and bowel cancer.
- Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive
- Luke Squires, Director of Fundraising
- Gail Curry, Head of Health Promotion and Training
- Asha Kaur, Head of Policy and Campaigns
- Claire Donaghy, Interim Head of Scotland
- Lowri Griffiths, Head of Wales
- Niamh McDaid, Senior Health Promotion & Training Officer, Northern Ireland
We also have a wonderful array of case studies who are happy to share their personal experiences of bowel cancer with the media. To read their stories, click here.