New Bowel Cancer Test Could Save Thousands Of Lives

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A simple test has been developed by health experts that could dramatically reduce the risk of people developing bowel cancer.

It is thought that the developments could save as many as 3,000 lives every year and not only that, the test could also detect many other diseases early.

The test would be available to millions of people in the UK aged between 55 and 64 and could save the NHS thousands of pounds every year. The decision has been made by the UK National Screening Committee who is backing the procedure and recommends that all those eligible organise an appointment.

Research carried out in conjunction with the new procedure show that using this short one-off test for bowel cancer among middle-aged Britons could reduce the rates by 33 per cent and death rates by 43 per cent.

The procedure is backed by experts such as Harpal Kumar, the chief executive from Cancer Research said: “Recent trial results of this method detecting and removing polyps before they develop into bowel cancer can truly be called a breakthrough.”

Once fully assimilated into hospitals around the country, it is thought that the new method will save thousands of lives every year.

Mr Kumar continued: “Because it will prevent so many cancers, adding this test to the bowel screening programme will spare tens of thousands of families the anxiety and suffering associated with a cancer diagnosis, while also saving the NHS money.”

Statistics show that currently around 40,000 people in Britain develop bowel cancer each year, furthermore 16,000 people plus die from the disease.

The current procedure in the fight against bowel cancer is for those aged between 60 and 69 are able to send off stool samples for testing in what is known as the faecal occult blood (FOB) test. This programme will now be extended to include those up to the age of 74.

The newly developed test, known as flexible signoidoscopy (FlexiSig) is different in that it will be available to all those aged between 55 to 64 in Britain, this will include 10 million people.

The brand new test would take only 20 minutes and will involve the doctor examining the wall of the bowel by using a tiny camera that is mounted on a flexible tube. This can then remove potentially cancerous growths known as polyps using special tools that are attached to the probe.

At the present moment, it is not yet clear when the new screening programme will be introduced.


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