One million missed opportunities
Since lockdown began in March, over a million home screening kits have not been sent out in England. That’s one million missed opportunities for people to find out if they have bowel cancer and begin treatment if they need it.
Around 675,000 people would have taken the test and 13,500 would have had a result which needed more investigations. Of those, 1,350 people will likely have undiagnosed bowel cancer and more than 4,000 people would have discovered they have polyps, which can develop into the disease if they’re not removed.
To add to this, around 8,500 people received a positive screening result before lockdown and are still waiting for further tests. Of these, 850 are likely to be bowel cancer.
We are in the eye of a perfect storm. Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, but it’s treatable and curable, especially if it’s diagnosed early. The coronavirus pandemic means that diagnosis is being delayed and we’re deeply concerned
What are we doing?
We’re determined that people with bowel cancer do not get forgotten while the NHS is stretched because of coronavirus. Every week we represent people with bowel cancer on a call with NHS England. These calls have meant we have been able to be the voice for everyone affected by bowel cancer and input into processes such as the establishment of clinics and hospitals that are COVID-free so that cancer treatment and tests can begin again.
We also continue to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, encouraging people to visit their GP as quickly as possible. And we’re still funding research which will help unlock the answers to better treatment and survival of bowel cancer in the future.
We need your support
Our services are needed now more than ever and yet we’re facing a drop of income of around 40% this year. Please make a donation and help us to support people who currently have bowel cancer as well as all those whose diagnosis and treatment have been delayed.