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Tower Hamlets bowel cancer screening test rate lowest in England

PUBLISHED: 13:53 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:53 29 March 2017

A free screening test is posted to people aged from 60 to 74 every two years.

A free screening test is posted to people aged from 60 to 74 every two years.

© Brendan Foster Photography

Tower Hamlets has the lowest uptake rate for bowel cancer screening tests in England, a study published today shows.

Bowel Cancer UK chief executive Deborah Alsinahas has urged more people to take advantage of the free screening test as figures show Tower Hamlet's participation rate is among the lowest in the country.Bowel Cancer UK chief executive Deborah Alsinahas has urged more people to take advantage of the free screening test as figures show Tower Hamlet's participation rate is among the lowest in the country.

Figures from Public Health England reveal that only 37 per cent of people in the borough took up the offer of a free bowel cancer screening test last year.

Eight out of the 10 areas in England with the lowest take up rates are in the capital with Newham, 37pc, Westminster, 37pc, and Southwark, 38pc, joining Tower Hamlets at the bottom of the table.

This compares with Bromley which had the highest take up rate in the capital at 55pc.

Bowel Cancer UK chief executive Deborah Alsina said: “It’s quite simple, bowel cancer screening saves lives. It’s predicted that even using the current test, the screening programme will save over 2,000 lives each year by 2025.

“I would encourage everyone who’s over 60 to take the test, and for those who are younger to encourage their loved ones over 60 to complete it.

“It could save yours or your loved ones life,” she added.

On average 45pc of Londoners sent the test complete it with Bowel Cancer UK predicting that across the country 3,500 people will be diagnosed with bowel cancer - the UK’s second biggest cancer killer - and 1,300 will die of it in April.

Anyone aged 60 to 74 registered with a GP receives the free test every two years. There is a greater chance of survival the earlier bowel cancer is diagnosed.

For details visit bowelcancerUK.org.uk.

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