Bowel Cancer State of the Nation report

Reports | Published: 08 Feb 2024

The National Cancer Audit Collaborating Centre (NATCAN) has published a State of the Nation report from the National Bowel Cancer Audit (NBoCA). More specifically, it is an audit of the care received by people with bowel cancer in England and Wales focusing on the 35,779 patients diagnosed between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.

Overall, there was an increase in the proportion of patients presenting with stage I or II disease (from 35% in 2017/18 to 42% in 2021/22), and the number of patients presenting with colorectal cancer returned to pre-pandemic levels. Other key findings include:

  • There was a reduction in the percentage of patients who died within 90 days of surgery, from 3.1% in 2027/18 to 2.4% in 2021/22
  • The percentage of patients with an unplanned readmission after surgery went from 10.8% in 2017/18 to 10.9% in 2021/22
  • The percentage of patients with an unplanned 30-day return to theatre after surgery fell from 7.8% in 2027/18 to 6.3% in 2021/22.

In addition to further key messages, this report also contains a number of recommendations for healthcare providers and cancer alliances.

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Bowel Cancer State of the Nation report