Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer Every 15 minutes, someone in the UK receives the news that they have bowel cancer. It has a devastating impact on patients and their loved ones. It is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. However, it shouldn’t be as it treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. We’re the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity. We’re determined to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by the disease. Our vision is a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer. We support and fund targeted research, provide expert information and support, educate the public and professionals about the disease, and campaign for early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care.

In the UK:

  • 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year
  • 16,000 lives are tragically lost to the disease each year
  • 268,000 people are currently living with bowel cancer

Syncona’s generosity is helping us move closer to our vision

We are extremely grateful for the support of the Syncona Foundation. Almost 100% of our income is voluntary which is why the Foundation’s multi-year commitment is so important. It provides a wonderful security enabling us to plan with confidence for the future. This has become even more critical in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic has seen our income reduce significantly almost overnight.

Syncona’s support is helping:

- Fund vital bowel cancer research - the advances in saving lives from bowel cancer in the past 20 years have all come from research. We must improve diagnostic tests and treatments so we can save more lives and ensure those who survive live without the anguish of long-term consequences of treatment.

- Support patients and their loved ones prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed many people affected by bowel cancer to crisis point. We have been focusing on direct online services to get information, advice and support to those who need it, which is critical to reducing anxiety, fear and isolation.

- Ensure we are giving the bowel cancer community a voice during the pandemic and advocate on their behalf at strategic and operational meetings with the NHS and government.

Bowel cancer patient story – Tim Kerr

Tim was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. Before being given the all-clear, he underwent three operations to remove tumours in his bowel, liver and lung and spent a month in intensive care following life-threatening complications from his treatment. He says:

 “Cancer is something you simply can’t process; an emotional meltdown. It was confusing, frightening and exhausting. However, now nearly three years clear without cancer, I’m doing well and enjoying my second (or is that fourth or fifth) chance of life.

“Whilst it’s probably straightforward to empathise with my discomfort, what is often skimmed over, is the pain and anguish that this horrible disease inflicts on one’s loved ones. I often think that in many ways I had the easier ride. Physical pain is one thing, but the emotional onslaught that was suffered by others is, in my view, much underplayed and misunderstood. I have scars, but theirs, one can argue, run much deeper.

“On many occasions when we were in some difficult and very dark places, we received invaluable help and support from Bowel Cancer UK. Their professional knowledge, advice and emotional guidance were absolutely priceless.”

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Bowel Cancer UK