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Northern Ireland facing 'worrying' rise in bowel cancer rates in wake of coronavirus crisis

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Professor Mark Lawler

Professor Mark Lawler

Professor Mark Lawler

A dramatic rise in bowel cancer cases is set to sweep Northern Ireland in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, it has been warned.

It has emerged that at least 30 people may be facing life-changing surgery or even death as a result of the suspension of bowel cancer screening here.

Officials estimate 25 to 30 patients are diagnosed with bowel cancer every three months through the life-saving screening programme, which was suspended in the middle of March as the health service prepared for an influx of critically ill Covid-19 patients.