Brian supporting call to reduce bowel cancer screening age

Brian Hedley.
Brian Hedley.

A Morpeth resident who successfully fought bowel cancer is backing a charity’s campaign about a screening issue.

Beating Bowel Cancer is calling for the bowel cancer screening age to be equalised throughout the UK.

Brian Hedley was diagnosed with it in 2011. He was 56 at the time and he had surgery followed by eight cycles of chemotherapy,

Although he continues to need emotional and psychological resilience, his follow-up scans have been clear ever since and his physical needs have stabilised.

The 61-year-old said: “If the screening age was reduced from 60 to 50 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to bring it in line with Scotland, thousands of bowel cancer patients each year would have the opportunity of being diagnosed at an earlier stage.

“If bowel cancer screening had been available to me from the age of 50, the disease would have been caught much sooner as it took over two years for a diagnosis to be made.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We want to lead the world in cancer care and timely, effective screening is key to achieving that goal.

“That’s why the rollout of an additional test is well under way, which will mean all men and women in England are invited for bowel scope screening around the time of their 55th birthday.

“This is in addition to the routine bowel cancer home testing programme already in place for people aged 60 and older.”