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Screening can enhance diagnosis of bowel cancer at early stage

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-01-25 14:58

Screening can enhance diagnosis of bowel cancer at early stage

[Photo by Xu Jixiang/Asianewsphoto]

Bowel cancer is more likely to be diagnosed at the earliest stage if it is detected by screening, according to figures released Friday by Cancer Research UK and Public Health England's National Cancer Intelligence Network.

For the first time in Britain, data shows the stage at which cancer is detected by the different routes to diagnosis: through screening, by a general practitioner's referral, or as an emergency.

Of the cases picked up by bowel screening, more than 37 percent were caught at the earliest stage while fewer than eight percent were advanced, the figure shows.

Meanwhile, more than 22 percent of bowel cancers were in the advanced stages by the time people went to the doctor and were then diagnosed, according to the figures.

"Early diagnosis means better survival and late diagnosis is bad news for patients, so we need to learn how to avoid it. This new information really helps us understand the best ways to diagnose cancer and where the health service should target resources," said Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of early diagnosis.

"Bowel cancer in particular has a lot of room for improvement, so it's great news that there's a recommendation to use a new updated bowel cancer screening test called FIT. We know this is an easier test for people to use at home and that both men and women are more likely to use it, so it's vital this is rolled out as quickly as possible across England," said Hiom.


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