Bowel cancer being diagnosed 'too late' as survival rates suffer

14 August 2014

Bowel cancer being diagnosed 'too late' as survival rates suffer

A leading charity has warned that too many patients are only being diagnosed with bowel cancer when it is too late.

According to Bowel Cancer UK, almost one in 10 patients only discover they have cancer when they are eventually diagnosed in "advanced" stages.

41,500 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK, with the most advanced stage (Stage 4) representing 3,800 of that total. 

Around half of the 9,800 people diagnosed at Stage 3 will go on to develop advanced cancer.

The charity added that fewer than one in 10 people diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer will survive for longer than 5 years. Importantly it added that those whose cancer was spotted earlier on and diagnosed quickly would have much better survival odds. has a number of specialist bowel cancer misdiagnosis teams who frequently speak with members of the public who have been diagnosed with cancer far later than they should have been given the symptoms they demonstrated. 

Bowel Cancer UK has launched a new campaign, Time for Guts, calling for action to improve survival rates.

Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: "Far too many people are still being diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer. They deserve better.

"It's time to make a stand and that's why we're launching our Time for Guts campaign, to ensure that people diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer have access to swift diagnosis, treatment options and a range of support services.

"It really is shocking how little support some of them are given and we are calling for much better access to treatment.

If you or a loved one has experienced misdiagnosis and delay in relation to a bowel cancer diagnosis, the specialist teams at are able to provide FREE advice about what your patient rights are and whether you would like to make a complaint or start a medical negligence claim our experienced teams can explain your options so that you can make the most informed decision.