Uptake of bowel screening is only 33% among UK South Asians

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 13 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:581
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1London

England’s fledgling bowel cancer screening programme is attracting poor uptake from people of South Asian origin, says a new study of the pilot project in Coventry and Warwickshire.

In comparison with people from non-Asian ethnic groups, South Asians were only half as likely to respond positively to an invitation for bowel cancer screening, found the study, which was led by Ala Szczepura, professor of health services research at Warwick University, and funded by the NHS cancer screening programme. In particular it found that the response rate among Muslim South Asians was less than a third that in non-Asians.

The difference in uptake between South Asians and non-Asians was far larger than that found in the early years of the breast cancer screening programme, say the researchers, who also tracked uptake of breast cancer screening …

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