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ICB launches videos to encourage bowel cancer screening uptake

ICB launches videos to encourage bowel cancer screening uptake
By Healthcare Leader reporters
18 April 2024

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) ICB has issued videos featuring local GPs to encourage more people to take part in bowel cancer screening, to coincide with bowel cancer awareness month in April.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and is the second biggest cause of death
from cancer. However, it is treatable, especially if it diagnosed at an early stage. In order to facilitate
early diagnosis, a screening kit is sent to people aged 54 to 75, every 2 years, and this is being
expanded to include people over 50.

Although uptake for bowel cancer screening is increasing, it is still lower than for other national cancer
screening programmes, and across LLR the uptake is even lower than the national average.
The videos, which are available in a choice of languages, explain how to complete the home testing

Dr Andy Ahyow, deputy chief medical officer for LLR ICB, said: ‘In terms of
uptake for the bowel cancer screening programme, it’s clear that there are differences between areas
and across different demographic groups, and this includes people who do not read or write English,
or whose first language isn’t English.

‘In several areas of Leicester city, there are lower numbers of people that have been screened, which also have higher numbers of Asian residents.

‘This is why we have produced these videos in Urdu and Gujarati, as well as in English, and with
subtitles in a choice of languages. We hope these videos will result in more people doing their test kits
which, in turn, should result in saving lives through the earlier detection of bowel cancer.’

Varsha Parmar, chief executive of Equality Action, based in Loughborough, said: ‘We work
with people from ethnic minority communities, many of whom are very scared and reluctant to do the
bowel cancer screening test. Through using the video and other promotional material, we can
encourage people to take the test.

‘The video is very clear and highlights the method and the importance of early screening. The
different languages make it very relatable for the viewers as they understand the message clearly and
can identify with the speaker. We will use this video at our groups and events to encourage more
people to do the test.’

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