Screening helps early diagnosis of bowel cancer

June 18, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Patients who attend bowel screening are more likely to be diagnosed with bowel cancer at an early stage - when there is a better chance of survival - than those who wait until they have symptoms of the disease.

These are the findings of new data presented at the annual National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference in Birmingham.

Researchers say the study shows that the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Program is working towards its aim to reduce deaths from bowel cancer.

Using data from the West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit, the study looked at bowel cancers diagnosed in the region between January 2006 and September 2011 in people aged 60 - 69 years.

Researchers compared the stage at of bowel cancers picked up through screening and those diagnosed from symptoms.

The results showed that 18.5 per cent of bowel cancers detected through screening were at the earliest stages compared with 9.4 per cent of cancers diagnosed through symptomatic routes.

In contrast, late stage tumors were more common in patients diagnosed through symptomatic routes compared with those diagnosed through screening.

Sam Johnson, lead researcher based at the West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit, said: “When bowel cancer is diagnosed at an earlier stage, it’s easier to treat, has a lower chance of coming back and better rates.

“Our research shows that screening can play an important role in improving bowel cancer survival by picking up cancers at an earlier stage.”

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK - around 40,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Researchers said that once the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Program has been established for several more years, and has been rolled out completely to people aged 60 - 74 years old, they would expect to see fewer late stage cancers.

Chris Carrigan, head of the NCIN, said: “When bowel cancer is found at the earliest stage, there is an excellent chance of survival, with more than 90 per cent of people surviving the disease at least five years.

“Compared with breast and cervical cancers, tends to have a lower five-year survival rate.

“This study highlights the potential improvements we can make through encouraging more to take-up their invitation so the disease is diagnosed earlier.”

Explore further: Nearly 10 per cent of bowel cancer patients die within a month of diagnosis

More information: Johnson, S. et al,. Dukes staging in screen-detected and symptomatic cases of colorectal cancer in the West Midlands region (2012).

Related Stories

Nearly 10 per cent of bowel cancer patients die within a month of diagnosis

March 27, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Almost 10 per cent of bowel cancer patients die within a month of being diagnosed according to new analysis by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), published today.

Bowel screening reduces cancer deaths by more than 25 per cent

November 9, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Bowel screening reduces the number of deaths from bowel cancer in Scotland by more than 25 per cent, according to research* presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference ...

Poorest bowel cancer patients more likely to die within month of surgery

June 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Bowel cancer patients living in the most deprived areas are 24 per cent more likely to die within five years of treatment than their more affluent neighbours and this difference appears to be a result ...

Bowel cancer rates fall among rich men only

June 1, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Men living in deprived areas now suffer from higher levels of bowel cancer than those from more affluent areas Glasgow academics have found.

Bowel Cancer Screening Programme announces first results

December 8, 2011
The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in England is on track to cut bowel cancer deaths by its target of 16%, reveals an analysis of the first one million test results, published in Gut.

Recommended for you

Lung cancer triggers pulmonary hypertension

November 17, 2017
Shortness of breath and respiratory distress often increase the suffering of advanced-stage lung cancer patients. These symptoms can be triggered by pulmonary hypertension, as scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Heart ...

Researchers discover an Achilles heel in a lethal leukemia

November 16, 2017
Researchers have discovered how a linkage between two proteins in acute myeloid leukemia enables cancer cells to resist chemotherapy and showed that disrupting the linkage could render the cells vulnerable to treatment. St. ...

Computer program finds new uses for old drugs

November 16, 2017
Researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed a computer program to find new indications for old drugs. The computer program, called DrugPredict, ...

Pharmacoscopy improves therapy for relapsed blood cancer in a first clinical trial

November 16, 2017
Researchers at CeMM and the Medical University of Vienna presented a preliminary report in The Lancet Hematology on the clinical impact of an integrated ex vivo approach called pharmacoscopy. The procedures measure single-cell ...

Wider sampling of tumor tissues may guide drug choice, improve outcomes

November 15, 2017
A new study focused on describing genetic variations within a primary tumor, differences between the primary and a metastatic branch of that tumor, and additional diversity found in tumor DNA in the blood stream could help ...

A new strategy for prevention of liver cancer development

November 14, 2017
Primary liver cancer is now the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its incidences and mortality are increasing rapidly in the United Stated. In late stages of the malignancy, there are no effective ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.