Beating bowel cancer together

We're 'On a Mission': our next five-year plan

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Our Chief Executive Officer Genevieve Edwards tells us more about our next five-year plan in our blog.

Today marks an important milestone for us. We're launching our new five-year strategy, 'On a Mission'. This sets out how we'll continue to work relentlessly towards our vision of a future where nobody dies from bowel cancer. It's bold, ambitious, and shows how we'll ensure more people are diagnosed at the earliest stages when the disease is easier to treat, and how we'll keep pushing for access to the best treatment and care, and provide support for patients and their friends and families.

Where we've come from

Last year, we funded four new research projects. Our #GetOnARoll campaign turned every bathroom visit into a potential life-saving moment. We provided over 1.8 million moments of support to people affected by bowel cancer and their loved ones, and we launched the very first All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bowel Cancer.

So much of this was made possible thanks to our formidable patron Dame Deborah James, who tragically died last year. She was an extraordinary campaigner whose honesty, frankness and humour changed the landscape for bowel cancer forever. She was the inspiration behind our award-winning #GetOnARoll campaign, in partnership with her friend and bowel cancer patient Cara Hoofe, to ask supermarkets to display bowel cancer symptoms on their toilet roll packaging, she encouraged people to check their poo that prompted a record number of referrals for bowel cancer tests, and raised £11.3 million for bowel cancer research, projects and campaigns.

But we know we need to do more. Bowel cancer is still the UK's second biggest cancer killer. A big reason for that is that almost half of people are diagnosed late when the disease is much harder to treat and survival rates plummet.

Where we're going

Our new strategy sets out a roadmap for the next five years. We consulted with patients, volunteers, clinicians and researchers to develop an ambitious plan that puts early diagnosis at its heart, while ensuring we continue to support anyone affected by bowel cancer.

We know that if every bowel cancer diagnosis was at stage 1 or 2, we could potentially save up to 28,000 lives every year. Each one of those people would have more time with their loved ones, face kinder treatments, and have a better outcome overall. The size of the prize is huge.

To get there, our five-year strategy sets an ambitious milestone that by 2028, more than 7 in 10 people will be diagnosed at stage 1 or 2. Right now, it's less than 4 in 10.

We know this won't be easy. But we have set out four clear goals to get us to that point:

  • Goal 1: Increase awareness and understanding of bowel cancer
  • Goal 2: Remove the barriers to people being diagnosed quickly, and at the earliest possible stage
  • Goal 3: Get the right treatment and care to every patient
  • Goal 4: Support people to cope better with bowel cancer

We need your help

We can't achieve all of this on our own. We'll need to continue to work with our partners – our unstoppable fundraisers, clinical and scientific colleagues, our corporate supporters, trusts, politicians and policymakers – if we're to reach the right people, break down barriers, and shift the dial on early diagnosis. Keep working with us and I'm confident that together, we can make a tremendous difference.  

We want to see a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer. It's an ambitious goal, and one we're determined to achieve. Join us.

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