MATHESON ENCOURAGES CONSTITUENTS TO TAKE BOWEL SCREENING TEST THIS MONTH

SNP MSP for Falkirk West, Michael Matheson has called on his constituents to take the potentially life-saving bowel screening test this month – part of a nationwide drive to encourage people to return their test as soon as they receive it.

The Scottish Government drive comes as latest figures have shown that, on average, 43,500 bowel screening tests have been returned in August, but some people are still delaying doing their test as this is 8,500 fewer than the average for October.

All adults aged 50-74 are invited to take part in bowel screening every two years in Scotland. The test remains the best way of finding bowel cancer early, when survival is 14 times more likely. The number of participants between November 2013 and October 2015 was over one million.

Commenting, Mr Matheson said:

“The bowel screening test is the best way to catch bowel cancer early. I urge all constituents who have been sent a test to do it as soon as they receive it – with it being 14 times more likely to survive bowel cancer when it is caught early.

“Over a million people completed the test between November 2013 and October 2015, which is an uptake of 57.5%. Whilst this is positive, the Scottish Government will always work to try and secure greater and earlier uptake, to ensure we find even more cancers as early as possible.

“Returning the test early really could be a lifesaver.”