E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Bowel Cancer Screening Programme: The Impact of Local Education Sessions by Health Care Professionals in South London, United Kingdom (#639)

Cheh Kuan Tai 1 , Phoebe Leung 1 , Yooyun Chung 1 , Wen Ling Woo 1 , Roderick Prawiradiradja 1 , Samantha Goh 1
  1. National Health Service, London, United Kingdom

Background and Context:

Only 9% of colorectal cancers (CRCs) in the United Kingdom (UK) are diagnosed early1 with 15% more patients being diagnosed at a later stage of the disease compared with most other European countries2. The National Health Service Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BSCP) is provided free of charge to all men and women aged 60–74 years inclusive in the UK. However screening linked health inequality has been found with lower uptake in socioeconomically deprived populations3,4,5. However, men and women place a high value on the endorsement of bowel cancer screening by their health care practitioner6,7.


 To develop a new CRC awareness programme targeted at less affluent members of the community in South London, to increase uptake of FOB testing.


 A team of six junior doctors delivered education sessions, targeting less affluent individuals aged 50–74 years over a three month period in South London.

Programme/Policy Process:

 The interactive education sessions held within ethnic minority communities covered information regarding CRC and the importance of screening with a demonstration and thorough explanation of the FOB test.

 Questionnaires pre and post sessions were used to assess understanding of CRC, BCSP and willingness to participate in screening.

Outcomes/What was learned:

These sessions showed marked improvement in knowledge of CRC and self-reported intent to participate in BCSP among our participants

·      Understanding of CRC: 19% pre-session to 95% post-session

·      Willingness to participate in bowel screening: 39% pre- session to 95% post session

·      100% people showed willingness to discuss their concerns about bowel cancer with their GP

·      Despite the improvement in understanding of bowel cancer, only 23-42% expressed willingness to change lifestyle factors

These results suggest that educational sessions targeted at socially deprived populations may increase screening rates but will require long term follow-up to assess coherence with post-session questionnaire responses.

  1. Cancer Research UK, 2014. Statistics and Outlook for Bowel Cancer [Online]. Available from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/type/bowel-cancer/treatment/statistics-and-outlook-for-bowel-cancer [Accessed 1 June 2014].
  2. Bowel Cancer UK, 2011. Who we are and what we do [Online]. Bowel Cancer UK. Available from http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/ [Accessed 1 June 2014].
  3. von Wagner, C., Baio, G. Raine, R., Snowball, J., Morris, S., Atkin, W., Obichere, A., Handley, G., Logan, R.F., Rainbow, S., Smith, S., Halloran, S. and Wardle, J., 2011. Inequalities in participation in an organized national colorectal cancer screening programme: results from the first 2.6 million invitations in England. International Journal of Epidemiology 40 (3): 712-8.
  4. Wardle, J., McCaffery, K., Nadel, M.R. and Atkin, W.S., 2004. Socioeconomic differences in cancer screening participation: comparing cognitive and psychosocial explanations. Social Science & Medicine 59(2):249-61.
  5. Weller, D., Moss, S., Butler, P., Campbell, C., Coleman, D., Melia, J. and Robertson, R., 2006. English Pilot of Bowel Cancer Screening: an evaluation of the second round. [Online] Department of Health. Available from http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/bowel/pilot-2nd-round-evaluation.pdf [Accessed 1 June 2014].
  6. Cole, S.R., Young, G.P., Byrne, D., Guy, J.R. and Morcom, J., 2002. Participation in screening for colorectal cancer based on a faecal occult blood test is improved by endorsement by the primary care practitioner. Journal of Medical Screening. 9(4):147–152.