A DETERMINED daughter who believes her mother would be alive today if the bowel cancer screening age was lower is fronting a national campaign on the issue.

Lauren Backler, 26, from Eastbourne, is trying to get screening for everyone from the age of 50, which already happens in Scotland.

In England, screening starts at 60 and Lauren thinks that her mother Fiona, who died aged 56, would still be enjoying life if she had been screened.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of fatal cancer and now Lauren is working with the national charity Beating Bowel Cancer.

This week she appeared on ITV’s This Morning with presenters Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

She also spoke at a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons about bowel cancer.

Lauren said she is determined she will make a success of her campaign however long it takes.

She said: “I believe it is only a matter of time before the Government agrees to the screening from the age of 50. I won’t give up until I win. Mum didn’t like injustice and I hope that she would be proud of what I am doing. In a way it helps me to fight but I know it won’t change what happened to my mum.

“However, I have two young nephews and I hope to have children myself in the future, and it’s for those people that I will fight. All the evidence is there and it would save money in the long run because the cost of the screening is so low compared to the cost of treating someone with the disease.”

Lauren said she will continue to pile on the pressure and is delighted to be working with the national charity.

She said: “This has given me fresh impetus, not that I really needed it.

“It is so important to keep the ball rolling and I have had so many emails since appearing on national TV.”


LAUREN Backler is asking The Argus readers to join her campaign to have the screening age limit for bowel cancer lowered from 60 to 50.

She wants people who feel strongly about the issue to contact their MP, which she says is very easy.

The direct link to the “write to your MP” page on Beating Bowel Cancer’s website is bit.ly/screeninglottery.

Lauren said: “I would urge anyone reading this to visit the page and email your local MP.

“It is really important to me.

“It was emotional speaking at the House of Commons at the reception but so crucial to our campaign.

“There were a lot of MPs there and I hope they listened.

“My local MP Caroline Ansell has been very supportive.”

Lauren’s ongoing campaign can be found via change.org.

The petition has already been signed by 274,000 people.

Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne, said: “It’s a privilege to give my continued support to Lauren, and I’ll continue to work to keep this on the Government’s agenda going forward.”

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK today, affecting around one in 19 women and one in 14 men.

According to Cancer Research UK, there are now more than 41,900 new cases of bowel cancer being diagnosed every year.

It usually develops slowly over a period of up to 10 years.