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Bowel Cancer Screening

Volume 609: debated on Wednesday 4 May 2016

I rise to present a petition on the subject of bowel cancer screening in the names of Lauren, Peter, David and Scott Backler. My constituent, Lauren Backler, lost her mum to bowel cancer, the second most common cancer in terms of the number of lives it takes each year. She was only 56, which meant she was too young to be part of the screening process in England, although not in Scotland, where screening starts at the age of 50. There is public demand for the screening age in England to be brought into line with that of Scotland, as has been evidenced by the online petition in Lauren’s name which has now gathered more than 216,000 signatures. In a Westminster Hall debate on this subject, the Minister recognised the significant level of parliamentary interest in the matter.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that the age at which bowel cancer screening is offered by the NHS is too high at 60 years old, with up to 6,000 people in their 50s diagnosed with the condition each year; further that, when bowel cancer is diagnosed in its later stages, the five-year survival rate is 7%, compared to 97% when caught early; and further that an online petition on this matter has been signed by over 163,000 individuals.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department of Health to consider the case for lowering the age of bowel cancer screening in England to the age of 50, in line with the screening age in Scotland.

And the petitioners remain, etc.