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Bowel Cancer Prognosis and Survival Rates

Early detection could save your life

The prognosis for bowel cancer can be very good if it is detected at the very early stages, which is why bowel cancer screening like BowelCheck is so important.

Bowel cancer staging and effects on survival rates

The stage, which denotes how far bowel cancer has progressed before diagnosis and treatment, has a significant impact on prognosis and survival rates. Bowel cancer is broken into four stages known as Dukes’ A to D, where Dukes’ A is the earliest stage, meaning the disease has progressed the least, and Dukes’ D is the most advance stage where the disease has spread to other organs in the body.

The following shows the Five-Year Relative Survival for bowel cancer between 1996 -2006*

Dukes Stage% of casesFive Year Survival Rate
A 8.7% 93.2%
B 24.2% 77.0%
C 23.6% 47.7%
D 9.2% 6.6%

* Data from www.beatingbowelcancer.org

As you can see from the five-year survival rates for bowel cancer above, if the disease can be detected at the earlier stages, the five-year survival rates are significantly improved. Whilst the NHS national screening programme is hoping to increase the percentage of cases detected at Dukes’ A, the programme is only available to those over 60, whereas BowelCheck is available for all individuals over the age of 45.

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