Time for screening
A new TV campaign urging people to join the bowel movement is asking Scots to sign up for a new screening programme.
Statistics show that the likelihood of surviving bowel cancer is 14 times higher if detected at an early stage compared to a late stage and the home bowel screening test – offered to people aged 50 to 74 – remains the most effective way of finding the disease early.
Every year, half a million people in Scotland complete and return their bowel screening kits and although the figure is higher than ever before, the new campaign is targeting those who put off taking the test.
An advert, featuring Fred MacAulay and Claire Grogan, aims to highlight the growing number of people in Scotland who are routinely returning their test in a bid to motivate others to do the same.
It follows a housewife, Mrs Hutchison, who is joined by a growing crowd of supporters while walking down her street – including a brass band and cheerleaders – all encouraging her to take the test when she gets home.
Members of the crowd who appear in the advert – including actress Carole Cassidy who plays housewife Mrs Hutchison – regularly complete and return their bowel screening tests.
Watch the advert here: https://www. youtube.com/watch?
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “The new campaign is a tongue-in-cheek way of getting across a serious message – that the home bowel screening test could be a life-saver.
“People who receive their bowel screening kit may be put off by the process but the reality is that more people than ever in Scotland are completing the test and returning it.
“This means more people have a better chance of bowel cancer being detected early, when the chances of survival are much higher.
“It’s positive that participation is rising but this campaign is focused on encouraging those who have dismissed taking the test or are putting off completing and returning it. We want everyone in Scotland to have the best chance of surviving cancer – and bowel cancer can often be cured if it’s caught early.”
Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Bowel cancer is Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer with 1600 people dying each year, yet it is both treatable and curable if diagnosed early.”
Comedian Fred MacAuley said: “There have been incidences of bowel cancer among my friends and family and because of screening, they’ve survived. I do my test every two years and personally think the screening we’re offered in this country is a great thing. I’d encourage everyone who is invited to take the test and hopefully this new campaign will help make that happen.”
John Wright, 64, of Drongan in Ayrshire, is backing the latest campaign and is someone who credits screening with saving his life. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer in September 2007 after returning his test and was called for further tests which showed two tumours in his bowel.
After being given the all-clear, a routine check-up in 2008 showed another tumour and John underwent another operation and course of chemotherapy.
Seven years on, he is now fit, healthy and enjoys an active life. John said: “If I didn’t complete the bowel home-screening kit, my tumours would have continued to grow inside my bowel without me knowing.
“By the time I had symptoms it might have been too late to treat.
“I’m walking proof that home screening works so I hope by sharing my story, others will get checked.” Whether you decide
to take part in the screening
or not, it’s important
to look out for the signs and cancer. symptoms of
bowel Visit www. getcheckedea
rly.org for more information
or call 0800 0121 833 to request replace-menta bowel screening