Bowel screening age lowered to 51 in Wales


Finally, the Welsh Government and the Health Service are going to honour their 2008 pledge that Bowel Screening roll out for the 50-74 years age group would be rolled out over 5 years. We have had many excuses from the lack of training colonoscopists to Eluned Morgan’s recent excuse blaming Covid. The Government in the future need to ensure screening and other health initiatives are fully researched and planned for their ability to deliver on time.

Almost nine out of ten people survive bowel cancer when it is detected and treated earlier on.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan is urging people to use their kit when it arrives in the post.

Starting from today (Wednesday 4 October), people aged 51-54 who are registered with a GP in Wales will be offered self-screening for bowel cancer, and will automatically receive an easy-to-use, bowel screening kit in the post every two years.

The programme will come into full effect for the newly eligible age group gradually over the next year.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Wales. Between 2018-2020 there were nearly 7000 registered cases of bowel cancer, but the survival rate is high.

Completing a home test kit is part of the bowel screening process. In 2019, the Welsh Government introduced a new, easy-to-use, FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) at-home testing kit. With increased sensitivity, the kit can better detect bowel cancer in those who are at risk and has contributed to an improved screening uptake of 65% in the current age cohort of men and women aged 55 to 74.

The move is part of a phased approach to lower the screening age to 50, based on the recommendation of the UK National Screening Committee.

Optimising Wales’ Bowel Screening Programme


I am committed to improving cancer outcomes in Wales. One of the best ways to do this is to detect and diagnose cancer at an earlier stage, when there are potentially more treatment options. Screening is one of the ways we can detect cancer earlier.

Bowel Screening Wales is one of our national screening programmes and currently offers screening every two years to men and women aged 60 to 74.

In 2018, the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC) recommended replacing the guaiac faecal occult blood test (gFOBt), which was used by the screening programme with the new and more accurate faecal immunochemical testing (FIT), to be provided to men and women aged 50 to 74.

– Eluned Morgan MS

Screening Age Lowered To 55


The expansion will mean 172,000 more people in Wales will start to receive easy to use kits that test for the early stages of bowel cancer. The move is part of a phased approach to lowering the screening age to 50 by October 2024.

People aged 55, 56 and 57 will start to be invited for screening from Wednesday 5th October and will receive their home testing kits in the post. The programme will be rolled out to the newly eligible age group gradually over the next 12 months.

Cancer Screening Call

Wales must move faster to lower the age for bowel cancer screening, Nick Philips, who lost his wife to the disease at 45 has said.

He has been campaigning for the screening programme to be expanded ever since and said he had seen many promises by successive health ministers come to nothing.

“They keep on promising, promising, promising and they’ve never delivered on the pledges,” he said.

“It needs to be done, quicker, there’s been so many different excuses all over the years and I’ve read them all.”

Bowel Cancer Screening


Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK but if it’s detected early, before symptoms appear, it is far easier to treat and survival rates are much higher.

A delay in implementing new ways to screen for bowel cancer in Wales is risking lives, a charity has said.

The UK body advising the health service recommended a new test is introduced which is easier for people to complete at home.

Over 50s bowel cancer tests review by Welsh Government


Bowel cancer tests are currently available to people over 60 but plans to extend to those in their 50s is under review by the Welsh government.

The disease is Wales’ most common form of cancer and currently men and women aged 60 to 74 are eligible for free screening.

The age limit was due to be lowered this year but it has been postponed.

Merger with Cancer Research & Genetics UK

The charity Bowel Cancer Wales has merged with Cancer Research & Genetics UK.

Campaigner wants cancer drug fund

Nick Phillips, director of the campaign group Bowel Cancer Wales, lost his wife to cancer more than six years ago.  He told Nick Palit that the issue of cancer drug funding had become a political football but he believes access to trial drugs could have prolonged his wife’s life.
Click here to hear Nick speak.

Martyn Young raises 200.00 for Bowel Cancer Wales

Martyn Young of Cardiff raise £200 for Bowel Cancer Wales by running in the Cardiff half marathon.

Bowel Cancer Wales involved with the All Wales Medicines Steering Group

Bowel Cancer Wales links with the inaugural meeting of patient involvement in AWMSG.

Cancer Drugs Fund for Wales

Welsh Conservatives petition for Cancer Drugs Fund for Wales.

Campaign for Katie Rees for the drug Avastin and Cancer Drugs fund for Wales

A campaign has been started for the drug Avastin for Katie Rees a bowel cancer patient from Cardiff aged 30 years and for a Cancer drugs fund for Wales. The campaign  started/supported by The Pamela Northcott Fund founded by Kate Small has recently highlighted on BBC news. The campaign can be followed and supported on Facebook on

Individual cancer funding drug requests.


The Welsh Health minister has agreed to publish details by each LHB in Wales for individual patient funding requests for high cost cancer and other drugs.Patient confidentiality is paramount and the results will ensure transparency to the availability of these drugs compared to the other regions of the UK.

Cancer patient may have to move to England to get her treatment.


Cancer patient Lorrainne Redmond from Cardiff may have to move to England to recieve the  life extending drug Avastin currently being denied to patients in Wales due mainly to its  cost effectiveness.

The fund currently available in England and Scotland would cost around £10 million.

The NHS in Wales currently underspend its medicines budget by tens of millions of pounds so why cant some of that money be used for the fund.

Cancer Drugs Campaign

Bowel Cancer Wales launches campaign for life extending Cancer drugs to be made more widely available.

Bowel Cancer Wales donates £1500.00 to Cancer Research at Cardiff University.

Bowel Cancer Wales has donated £1500.00 to Professor Sampsom at Cardiff University to help fund his research into Bowel Cancer and its Genetic links.

Wales falling behind in bowel cancer screening.

Flexible Simoidoscopy has been recommended by the UK National screening committee  to ministers for introduction in England.

Cancer Rally at the Senedd/Welsh Assembly 2011

Cancer Rally at the Senedd calling for an all party Welsh Cancer screening committee to address and regularly review cancer screening services. The event was organised by Jayne Sullivan (the most prominent cancer campaigner in Wales) in association with Bowel Cancer Wales and other Cancer charities and organisations. Watch the video film on you tube listed under  Jayne Sullivan-Cancer Rally 2011

New website launched called The Cancer Genetic Story Bank


The storybank is simply an online collection of stories about cancer genetics. It consists of digital stories from patients covering topics such as living with the risk of cancer, compiling a family tree, telling a family member about a cancer diagnosis and making decisions about surgery and screening.

Christmas Concert 1st Dec


Christmas concert with The Lewis Merthyr Band.

The Rose and Crown Graig raises money for Bowel Cancer Wales.

The Rose and Crown on the Graig raises £400.00 for Bowel Cancer Wales.

Bowel Health test kit available in pharmacies.

Self – check Bowel Health test, £9.99 from High Street pharmacists or www.

Mr Dukes Triumphant return

Mr Dukes Triumphant return from his walk around the coastline of Britain for Bowel Cancer Wales. Can be watched on under Mr Duke Walks For Bowel Cancer Wales.

Carolyn Robertsons story on how Bowel Screening Wales saved her life.


Carolyn Robertson, a lovely lady from Cardiff, is supporting and promoting the charity with various fundraising events. Carolyn has beaten Bowel Cancer thanks to the Welsh Assembly/NHS screening initiative.  Read her full story on her website:

Carolyn produces lovely designed cards which can be purchased via her website above.  She is donating 20% of her profits on the sale of the cards to the charity  Please have a look at her range and help us beat bowel cancer.

Mr Duke walks the coastline of Britain for Bowel Cancer Wales.


David Edwards aged 26 from Cilfynydd, Pontypridd  is walking the coastline of Britain for Bowel Cancer Wales. He started on 14/3/2010 and is walking around 3,000 miles clockwise from Cardiff. He is doing it  to raise awareness of the disease after his family had been struck with the illness. It is a tremendous challenge to undertake and at time of writing he is currently in Morecambe Lancashire. He has been interviewed and been followed by Radio Cymru along the way and can be followed on facebook if registered for daily blogs of his whereabouts and how he is getting along on the heading Mr Duke walks the coastline of Britain for Bowel Cancer Wales.

Energetic pair get their running shoes on in memory of partners late mum.

Two sisters in law are getting set to tear up the streets of Pontypridd as they run 15k in memory of their partners mum.Gemma Bosher-Jarvis and Michele David will don their running shoes on March 20th to raise money and awareness for the Pontypridd based charity. “Having lost a close family member to this awful disease, I want the run to raise local awareness that early screening can catch it in its early stages, prolonging life and improving the survival rate.” Gemma said.

The Doctor’s Dilemma


“What is very hard for many doctors to do is to have to explain to patients that an appropriate drug treatment for them is too expensive to prescribe.

“The health watchdog NICE is regularly refusing new therapies to treat cancer and uses a cut-off of £28,000 a year as a basis of evaluation. It would be better if it evaluated medicines on the basis of how long they prolong a person’s life…”

Taken from a Daily Express interview with Oncologist Dr Justin Stebbings, senior lecturer at Imperial College, London.

Welsh Minister Promise

The health minister, Brian Gibbon, in 2008 promised that all the people of Wales between the ages of 50 and 74 years would be offered bowel cancer screening by 2015.

Unfortunately, to date this promise has not been met and we are still waiting. The current FOBT (Faecal Occult Blood Test) is being replaced by the new improved FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) in 2019 in Wales.

The new FIT test requires just one sample, is more accurate and will hopefully increase the uptake of screening and ultimately same lives.

Lower age for bowel cancer screening – News Article


Nick Phillips, who is in the process of setting up a new charity – Bowel Cancer Wales – wants to raise awareness about the disease, in a bid to reduce the number of people developing it.

Interviewed by Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail

Bowel Cancer Discovery by Scientists in Wales

When healthy parents both carry a defective gene called MYH, their children are at very high risk of coming down with bowel cancer, researchers at the University of Wales College of Medicine say in an article in this tomorrow’s eminent ‘ The Lancet’ journal for the medical profession.

Major advance in bowel cancer

An important advance in understanding bowel cancer has been made by researchers at the University of Bristol, UK.