Eleven years ago my mum Carol died of bowel cancer.
She was just 54 at the time. If she’d lived in Scotland where the population is screened from the age of 50, she could have had a far better chance of survival.
That’s why I’m supporting Beating Bowel Cancer’s campaign to equalise the screening age across the UK.
If screening age was reduced from 60 to 50 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to be in line with Scotland, more than 4,000 patients a year would be given the chance of being diagnosed earlier.
Being diagnosed with bowel cancer early offers a 97% survival rate, but it remains the UK’s second biggest cancer killer and it’s time we changed the odds for patients in their 50s in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It’s appalling that currently they are not being given the same chance of survival as those in Scotland.
So we’re urging all 50-year-olds, their families and friends – and all those who will one day be in that age group – to support this change in screening age to ensure that the odds are on their side in the future.
Please support Beating Bowel Cancer’s campaign at www.beatingbowlecancer.org.
If you have questions about bowel cancer, there’s lots of information and support on the charity’s website or you can call their nurse helpline on 020 8973 0011.
TV presenter and Ambassador for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer