Beating bowel cancer together

We welcome the Cancer Taskforce Report

The Independent Cancer Taskforce in England has issued a new report recommending six strategic priorities to help the NHS achieve world-class cancer outcomes.

The report summaries how an additional 30,000 patients every year could survive cancer for 10 years or more by 2020. Of these, around 11,000 would be through earlier diagnosis.

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive, Bowel Cancer UK said: "We welcome the publication of this strategy and the focus on earlier diagnosis of bowel cancer in order to save lives from this preventable and treatable disease. In particular, we applaud the recommendation to introduce FIT into the bowel cancer screening programme, with a target of 75% uptake of this test by 2020. However, FIT must be implemented at an appropriate sensitivity level in order to save most lives.

We also welcome the fact that this strategy echoes Bowel Cancer UK's calls for reflex Lynch syndrome testing for people diagnosed with bowel cancer under the age of 50. It is vital that people at higher risk of developing bowel cancer are identified, with appropriate surveillance screening services accessible for people at higher risk across the country. This will require additional investment in diagnostic testing capacity, and we are pleased that the strategy addresses this through a proposed diagnostics fund.

This strategy has the potential to make a real difference for patients. We call on the Government to adopt it and implement the recommendations in full. This strategy has our support but it must translate into meaningful change for patients that will ultimate save lives."

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