Men's bowel cancer rates up by more than a quarter in last 35 years

April 2, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Bowel cancer rates among men have risen by nearly 30 per cent in the last 35 years, while women have seen an increase of only six per cent, according to a new report from Cancer Research UK.

The new statistics are released as The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK launches a new awareness and fundraising campaign, Make Bobby Proud, during awareness month (April).

The rates have climbed from 45 cases per 100,000 men in 1975-77 to 58 cases in 2008-10, an overall rise of 29 per cent. But in women cases have only increased very slightly from 35 to 37 per 100,000 in the same time period.

The largest rise in those diagnosed with the disease has been among people in their 60s and 70s, with more than 23,000 now diagnosed each year. The reasons for this rise, and the difference between men and women, are unknown.

But despite the rise in incidence among men, bowel is improving year on year, with half of all patients living for at least 10 years after a diagnosis.

Professor Matthew Seymour, professor of medicine at the University of Leeds and director of the National Cancer Research Network said: "We know the risk of bowel cancer increases as we get older and, since we're all living longer, it's no surprise to see that the number of people getting the disease is rising.

"But when we look at these figures and take people's age into account, we still see that the risk of bowel cancer has gone up in men in the last 35 years. It's important to find out what's behind the rise and what we can do about it.

"The good news is that, thanks to research, we have seen huge improvements in bowel cancer survival over the last 40 years. It's this research that's led to better drugs to treat the disease, improved surgical techniques, the use of more and the introduction of bowel screening to spot the disease earlier, when it is most effectively treated."

Stephanie Moore MBE, founded the Bobby Moore Fund after Bobby died of bowel cancer in 1993. It has consistently funded world class bowel cancer research and awareness projects, raising and investing around £20m to date. Stephanie said: "It's good to see that despite the rise in incidence, bowel cancer survival is improving. However, it's vital we continue to fund research to fight this disease as these new statistics show.

"Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK, after lung cancer. Finding a way to beat bowel cancer has been my goal for the past two decades and my hope is that by increasing awareness and helping to fund Cancer Research UK's vital research, many more lives can be saved from this terrible disease in the future. This is why we're launching Make Bobby Proud, and hope that with people's support we can beat this disease once and for all."

Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Bowel cancer survival rates have doubled over the last 40 years and our work is at the heart of this progress.

"Our researchers have played a starring role in finding new ways to diagnose and treat bowel cancer – detecting the disease early is helping to save thousands of lives. And many of the risk factors for bowel cancer are well understood: diet, weight, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking.

"The national bowel screening programme has been important in picking up cancer in its earlier stages, when treatment is more likely to be successful. England is in the process of introducing the bowel scope test – also known as Flexi-Scope – marking another step towards giving people the best possible chance of beating cancer."

To mark bowel cancer awareness month, the 'Make Bobby Proud' campaign has been launched to encourage people to fundraise and raise awareness of the disease in this 20th anniversary year of the Bobby Moore Fund. Helping to spread the message about signs and symptoms, reducing your risk of developing the disease and raising funds towards life saving bowel cancer research will all help to Make Bobby Proud.

To find out more about bowel cancer and to support the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, please visit www.bobbymoorefund.org. Find the Bobby Moore Fund on Facebook.

Explore further: Bowel cancer risk doubles for men

Related Stories

Bowel cancer risk doubles for men

July 27, 2011
Men’s chances of getting bowel cancer in Great Britain have doubled since the mid 70s - according to new figures released today by Cancer Research UK.

Poor public awareness of bowel cancer

August 23, 2011
Britons have very low awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer – the third most common cancer in the UK and second largest cause of cancer deaths each year, new research shows.

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 ...

Britons want bowel cancer screening recommendation

December 5, 2012
Britons want a recommendation from the NHS on whether to attend bowel cancer screening, along with all the information on benefits and risks, according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer today.

Family history of bowel cancer increases odds of survival

March 20, 2013
A new study that combines genetic information on bowel cancer with NHS patient outcome data has found a link between family history of the disease and a better chance of survival, published in the British Journal of Cancer.

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.

Recommended for you

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

Combining CAR T cells with existing immunotherapies may overcome resistance in glioblastomas

July 19, 2017
Genetically modified "hunter" T cells successfully migrated to and penetrated a deadly type of brain tumor known as glioblastoma (GBM) in a clinical trial of the new therapy, but the cells triggered an immunosuppressive tumor ...

How CD44s gives brain cancer a survival advantage

July 19, 2017
Understanding the mechanisms that give cancer cells the ability to survive and grow opens the possibility of developing improved treatments to control or cure the disease. In the case of glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest ...

New way found to boost immunity in fight cancer and infections

July 19, 2017
An international research team led by Université de Montréal medical professor Christopher Rudd, director of research in immunology and cell therapy at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, has identified a key ...

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.