Sammy attended a parliamentary event to raise awareness of bowel cancer and encourage action by health trusts to take steps towards early intervention.
Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK with 110 people diagnosed every day that amounts to four per day in NI. The majority are over the age of 50 however in NI screening does not start until the age of 60 which is too late in many cases and drastically reduces the chances of survival.
Being diagnosed at an early stage results in a 97 percent survival rate compared with 4 percent at a late stage. Early intervention cuts down the cost of treatment from an average of £12519 to £3373 so earlier screening is economically beneficial to the health service. More importantly for the individuals concerned it saves life and reduces the long term detrimental health and life style effects on survivors.
I thank the constituents who contacted me about this issue and fully support the call for screening at 50.