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Bowel cancer 'being found too late'

Too many patients are only being diagnosed with bowel cancer when it is too late, a charity has warned.

Almost one in 10 patients are only diagnosed when their cancer is classed as "advanced", Bowel Cancer UK said.

Of the 41,500 people diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK, 3,800 are diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer.

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

The charity said that fewer than one in 10 people diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer will survive for more than five years.

But those patients whose cancers are detected at an earlier stage have much better survival odds, it said.

The charity 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."

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