It’s now well known that when caught early, bowel cancer is very treatable. Unfortunately however, of the 14,000 cases of rectal cancer diagnosed in the UK each year, 10% are still caught late.

A further 10% of people treated for rectal cancer will see the disease return.

People in this desperate situation require complex, specialist treatment – the availability of which varies from hospital to hospital. This means people in the most urgent need get different levels of care depending on where they live.

Last year – we funded the IMPACT Audit to assess provision of these services across the NHS. In early 2020, the first set of results were released as part of the National Bowel Cancer Audit (NBOCA).

NBOCA collects data from all hospitals in England and Wales – so thanks to IMPACT, for the first time, we have a clear picture of services offered to late stage rectal cancer patients throughout these countries (Scottish and Northern Irish data is collected independently and is due in the future).

A breakdown of the findings is below:

We are delighted to have funded such a vital study. The situation facing rectal cancer patients with late stage and recurrent rectal cancer is now much clearer – but this is just the start, there is a lot of life-saving work left to do.

Read the full NBOCA report for 2019, including the IMPACT findings, here