INVERCLYDE’S Provost said he’s ‘extremely disappointed’ that people are risking their lives by ignoring the bowel cancer screening test.
Shocking new figures reveal that on average only 52 per cent of people living in Greater Glasgow and Clyde who are sent the bowel cancer screening test actually complete it — the joint lowest uptake rate in the country.
Robert Moran — who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February 2011 — says he’s extremely concerned about the low uptake.
His life was saved by the simple home screening test and he is urging other people to make use of it.
He told the Tele: “I’m really disappointed to hear this.
“This test can save your life if you complete it.
“If the test comes back negative then you’re okay.
“If it’s positive then people shouldn’t worry as bowel cancer is very treatable — the prognosis is good if they catch it early.
“At the end of the day, do the test for your family as in the worst case scenario, they will be the ones who will be left to pick up the pieces.
“Your life could be saved for the sake of a five minute test.”
Over the past six years, Robert has worked tirelessly to encourage people to complete take the test and in December last year, he grew a beard, inset, to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.
He added: “I can’t emphasise enough how much I know that this test saved my life.
“I’m one of many people to get that opportunity.
“We are so unbelievably lucky in Scotland as the bowel screening test is sent to people aged between 50 and 74 whereas in England it’s only available to those aged between 60 and 74.
“So we have a fantastic opportunity here to get checked out early.”
Emma Anderson, who of Bowel Cancer UK, the charity which released the new statistics, is also urging people not to put off completing the simple test.
She said: “It’s quite simple, bowel cancer screening saves lives.
“It’s predicted that even using the current test, the screening programme will save over 2,000 lives each year by 2025.
“I would encourage everyone who’s over 50 to take the test, and for those who are younger to encourage their loved ones over 50 to complete it.
“It could save yours or your loved ones life.”
The three main symptoms of bowel cancer include persistent blood in the stools that occurs for no obvious reason or is associated with a change in bowel habit.
Other signs include a persistent change in your bowel habit — which usually means going to the loo more often, persistent lower abdominal (tummy) pain, bloating or discomfort.
People who are concerned are advised to go to their GP.