The Government has been told it could cut up to 60% of deaths from bowel cancer by 2025 – if it follows the recommendations in a new report by Bowel Cancer UK.
The charity has called upon the Government to introduce aspects of care including earlier diagnosis, improved diagnostic capacity and providing access and support to best available treatment options.
Deborah Alsina, CEO, Bowel Cancer UK, said the proposals outlined in the report “should be the Government’s absolute minimum goal”.
The report, 2025 Challenge: Saving and Improving Lives, outlines how the Government should examine its existing targets in reducing mortality, improving patient experience and increasing survival to dramatically improve outcomes.
Bowel Cancer UK claims that deaths from bowel cancer could be reduced from 18 people in every 100,000 to 7 in 100,000 if these “realistic goals” were followed. Bowel cancer is currently the UK’s second biggest cancer killer with the overall five-year survival rate of those diagnosed just over 50%.
The report says that almost one in four patients do not understand their doctor’s explanations about their disease, and that one in five believe they have not been treated with dignity and respect. A fifth of patients, the report found, say they received conflicting information about their condition.
The charity also revealed its ambition to increase the proportion of people with the disease diagnosed at an early stage and improve overall survival rates of people diagnosed with advanced disease. It says that achieving these targets would save an additional 2,500 lives per year by 2025.
“We want to dramatically improve outcomes for people affected by bowel cancer, minimising the disease’s impact and helping people lead longer, healthier and happier lives,” commented Deborah Alsina.
“We look forward to working with the Government, NHS and other charities to help save more lives from the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.”