New bowel cancer screening test rollout 'proceeding well'

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The government has hailed the faster-than-expected rollout of a new bowel cancer screening test that could offer benefits in terms of effective detection and diagnosis.

New figures from Public Health England show that 36.6 percent of bowel scope screening centres in England were operational as of March 31st 2014, clearly exceeding the 30 percent rollout target.

“New data from Public Health England has highlighted the successful rollout of a new bowel cancer screening system.“

Bowel scope screening is also known as flexible sigmoidoscopy and is a one-off test offered to men and women at the age of 55. It examines the lower part of the bowel, which is where most bowel cancers are found.

The aim is to find any small growths called polyps which may develop into bowel cancer if left untreated. It complements the current faecal occult blood home test kit offered to men and women between the ages of 60 to 74.

Professor Julietta Patnick, director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes at Public Health England, said: "This positive news clearly demonstrates how hard screening centres have worked to ensure that they are able to offer bowel scope screening to eligible men and women."

In England, bowel cancer is the third most common type of cancer, with the majority of cases affecting those over the age of 72.

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