Research in the UK shows how important an early diagnosis is for simplifying the treatment options as much as possible.
For the most common type of bowel cancer, more than 9 in 10 patients (94%) have surgery to remove their tumour when diagnosed at the earliest stage, when radiotherapy and chemotherapy are not usually necessary.
For patients diagnosed with stage 4 disease around 3 in 10 (32%) have surgery and those who do will often have chemotherapy as well.
Less than 1 in 20 bowel cancer patients with the earliest stage disease have chemotherapy compared to nearly 5 in 10 (47%) diagnosed at the latest stage.
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