Men's Bowel Cancer Rates Rise

The number of men being diagnosed with bowel cancer has risen by more than 30% in the last 35 years, according to a charity.

Cancer Research UK said figures show there were 67 cases of the disease per 100,000 men in Scotland during 2008-10, compared to 51 in 1975-77. 

Cases in women have increased by 5%, from 41 per 100,000 during the 1970s to 43 in 2008-10, it said. 

More than 2,300 people in their 60s and 70s are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in Scotland, the charity said. 

Cancer Research UK is using the month of April to raise awareness about the disease. 

Half of patients now live for 10 years or more after being diagnosed, with survival rates improving year-on-year, it said.

 Vicky Crichton, senior public affairs manager at the charity, said: ``Bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer death in Scotland. 

``However, bowel cancer survival rates in the UK have doubled over the last 40 years and our work is at the heart of this progress. 

``Our researchers have played a starring role in finding new ways to diagnose and treat bowel cancer - detecting the disease early is helping to save thousands of lives. And many of the risk factors for bowel cancer are well understood: diet, weight, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking. 

``The national bowel screening programme in Scotland has been important in picking up cancer in its earlier stages, when treatment is more likely to be successful. 

``In the coming months in England, we will see the introduction of the bowel scope test, also known as flexi-scope. 

``This is something that is currently being considered by the Scottish Government and we would urge its introduction into the Bowel Screening Programme here soon. 

``Unlike some screening tests that only focus on catching cancer early, this test also reduces the chance of bowel cancer developing in the first place. 

``Bowel scope screening has been found to reduce the occurrence of bowel cancer in people aged 55-64 in those screened by a third, and its introduction marks another step towards giving people the best possible chance of beating cancer.'' 

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ``Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland and when detected at an early stage it is treatable, with nine out of 10 people beating it. However, signs of bowel cancer can be hidden and our Detect Cancer Early campaign is raising awareness of the comprehensive screening programme, which gives the best chance of detecting and beating bowel cancer.''