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Don’t Die of Embarrassment – Bowel Cancer Screening Saves Lives

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From: “Reading Borough Council” <>
Date: Jan 10, 2014 3:33 PM
Subject: Don’t Die of Embarrassment – Bowel Cancer Screening Saves Lives
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Don’t Die of Embarrassment – Bowel Cancer Screening Saves Lives

Reading Borough Council Press Release

A BERKSHIRE-WIDE pharmacy campaign to increase the uptake of bowel cancer screening is being launched in Reading on January 14th.

Pharmacists will be taking part in a month long campaign to raise awareness of bowel cancer and encourage more people who are aged 60 years and over to take the bowel cancer screening test.

Bowel cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in England. The risk of bowel cancer increases with age – approximately 72% of bowel cancer cases develop in people who are 65 or over; however, screening can lead to earlier diagnosis and early diagnosis can save lives. Screening can detect early signs of bowel cancer in people who may not yet have any symptoms. Importantly those aged 60-74 and registered with a GP will automatically receive a test invitation followed by a screening kit to do the simple test at home every two years.

Information leaflets about the bowel screening test in are available in 20 different languages, large print and a DVD in British sign language can be ordered free of charge from

Dr Lise Llewellyn, Director of Public Health for Berkshire said:

“Bowel cancer screening is very effective in helping reduce the number of people dying of bowel cancer but in Reading only 53% of people offered this service are using it. The tests are effective and straightforward to use. The test, which collects small samples of bowel motions on a special card, can be done in the privacy of your own home. It is then sent off for analysis in the special freepost envelope provided and the results posted back within two weeks. When no further investigation is needed, a screening invitation will be sent out again in two years time.

“Testing at home is free, easy and could save your life.”

Councillor Graeme Hoskin, Reading Lead Member for Health said:

“Statistics from Cancer Research UK show that the five year survival rates for bowel cancer have doubled over the last 40 years, but that it is still the second most common cause of death from cancer in the UK”.

“It is therefore vitally important that as many eligible people as possible take part in the bowel cancer screening programme.”


Notes for Editors:

For further information on the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, see

Reading Borough Council Press Releases can be found online at

Media Contact: Anna Fowler
Tel: 0118 937 3957

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