GP endorsement of bowel cancer screening increases uptake
Bowel cancer is the second commonest cause of cancer death in the UK. Early diagnosis improves survival and in 2006 the NHS has established the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP). In England, everyone currently receives a screening invitation and test kit every two years between age 60 and 74, and those who don’t return a completed kit receive a reminder letter. Only around half of those offered screening take up the offer. Although screening is free to participants there is also a strong socioeconomic gradient in uptake in England. Variations in, and poor uptake of bowel cancer screening lead to late cancer diagnosis and preventable death, creating inequalities in bowel cancer outcomes.