My cancer would have been detected earlier in Scotland — George Alagiah

The presenter tweeted in January about the return of his bowel cancer for the second time

The presenter tweeted in January about the return of his bowel cancer for the second time

Alagiah believes that his cancer could have been caught had he lived in Scotland, where routine screenings begin earlier.

Those diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer have less than 10% chance of surviving the next 5 years after diagnosis.

George was first diagnosed with the disease, which had spread to his liver and lymph nodes, in April 2014.

BBC newsreader George Alagiah has revealed he's been given just a ten per cent chance of surviving the next five years after his cancer returned.

In Scotland men and women are offered bowel cancer screening...

When bowel cancer is caught in stage 1, the chance of survival is nearly 100%, but the numbers drop drastically as the disease advances.

George - who is now campaigning to have the screening age in England lowered to 50 - said: "Had I been screened, I could have been picked up". I would have been screened at least three times and possibly four by the time I was 58.

He said: 'My brilliant doctors are determined to get me back to a disease-free state and I know they have the skill to do just that.

According to the Cancer Research UK, this can help detect bowel cancers in their early stages. I have thought: "why have the Scots got it and we don't?"

The Sri Lankan-born journalist, who is married with two sons, then tweeted on Sunday: "My cancer was caught late, very late". Earlier screening is the key.

His agent, Mary Greenham, confirmed the cancer had returned in December 2017, as he underwent medical treatment for the recurrence.

The popular newsreader gave the interview in his home, as he supports the campaign by Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer to lower the age of cancer screening in England to everyone from 50.

The disease kills almost 16,000 men and women annually in the United Kingdom, the charity said.

He underwent extensive treatment, which included three major operations and several rounds of chemotherapy.

Alagiah, who previously worked as a foreign correspondent, covering civil wars in Somalia and Liberia as well as the Rwandan genocide in 1994, was made an OBE in the 2008 New Year's Honours.

It is likely that the presenter, who lives in London, could have been cured had he lived in Scotland - rather than face his current 10 per cent survival rate.

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