Bowel cancer death rate could be slashed, says charity

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The government could cut deaths from bowel cancer by 60 per cent by 2025 if it followed the recommendations in a new report by Bowel Cancer UK.

The charity’s also wants to see an additional 2,500 people with bowel cancer per year living for at least five years after diagnosis by 2025.

The report also reveals that more than one in five patients weren’t treated with respect and dignity by doctors and nurses.

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, and the overall five-year survival rate of those diagnosed is just over 50 per cent.

In its report, 2025 Challenge: Saving and Improving Lives, Bowel Cancer UK calls on the government to examine its targets in reducing mortality, improving patient experience and increasing survival to dramatically improve outcomes in all three areas by 2025.

The report reveals that:

> Deaths from bowel cancer could be cut by 60 per cent by 2025 – from 18 in 100,000 to 7 in 100,000 – if realistic goals were followed.

> Almost one in four patients do not understand doctors’ explanations about their disease, and one in five say that they are not treated with dignity and respect

> 20 per cent of patients say they have received conflicting information about their condition

> Currently, the survival rate of patients with bowel cancer is just over 50 per cent.

Charity chief executive Deborah Alsina said: “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.”

“We have a duty to save more lives and the proposals outlined in this report should be the government’s absolute minimum goal.

“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.”