Colorectal cancer screening uptake in the UK needs to increase to improve survival


Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is a progressive cancer with high reported incidence in developed countries. Only half of newly diagnosed cases survive five years or more. However, early detection is possible due to regular screening for the disease in many parts of the world. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) annually sends home tests to the population aged 60-74 to screen for colon cancer. The penetration rate of this home test kit has improved over time. Currently, 70% of his population has returned completed home his screening kits for analysis. However, almost a third of the population remains untested due to the lack of response to this initiative. To improve the survival rate in the future, it is necessary to let more people know about this initiative.

Colorectal cancer is a significant health burden, with GlobalData epidemiologists predicting 47,000 diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer in the UK in 2023. This will increase to 53,000 diagnosed cases in 2031 with an annual growth rate of 1.5%. Based on historical data analyzed by GlobalData, the incidence of this cancer has changed little over the past decade, so the increase in the number of cases can be attributed to the projected increase in the population.

GlobalData epidemiologists also predict that nearly 60% of new cases will be diagnosed at an advanced stage. Most colorectal cancer cases are still diagnosed at a later stage, which means they have a lower survival rate than those diagnosed at an earlier stage.

The NHS is distributing free stool immunochemistry kits (FIT) for use at home. This home test kit is supposed to protect an individual’s privacy and remove stigma from using it.For those aged 60-74 who are registered with their local healthcare provider in England, , this kit is automatically sent to her every two years. There are also plans to lower the screening age to her 50s by 2025, which will greatly expand screening coverage. However, almost one-third of the population receiving this kit does not respond. This suggests the need for better public health awareness campaigns. The message should be adjusted to remove the stigma and embarrassment of faecal content so that the current non-responding third of the population can be encouraged to take advantage of the test and return the kit. Improving responsiveness and broadening the age range will greatly improve the chances of survival through early detection of this cancer.

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