Bowel cancer screen success

HIGH PEAK patients are among those who continue to benefit from Derbyshire’s bowel cancer screening programme.

Growths that could become cancerous were found in 176 people since NHS Derby City and NHS Derbyshire County extended the programme to people aged between 70 and 75 in January 2010.

And out of this group, 32 were diagnosed with cancer, with 411 having abnormal results requiring hospital scans or internal checks.

An additional 100 patients may also require further tests and checks to prevent the third most common cause of cancer developing.

All took a five-minute test after receiving a screening invitation allowing them to take advantage of free home testing kits which can pick up early signs of bowel cancer.

More than 200 people aged between 60 and 75 have been diagnosed with cancer since the programme started.

Julie Yapp, cancer screening coordinator for the NHS Derbyshire cluster, said: “These latest figures show the massive impact a quick home test can have.

“Derbyshire has been at the forefront of innovation ever since the national bowel cancer screening programme started, and we were one of the first wave of counties to introduce the scheme in 2007 and extend it to older people aged between 70 and 75 in 2010.

“Our commitment to pioneering the programme on behalf of our patients continues, and we are excited at the prospect of a new breakthrough technology called flexible sigmoidoscopy which we have been trialling in Derbyshire.

“This new screening test detects and removes polyps that could develop into cancer by a thin tube, and has the potential to save even more lives, with data showing that the new flexible sigmoidoscopy screening for bowel cancer in men and women aged 55 to 64 could reduce the occurrence of bowel cancer by 33 per cent and death rates by 43 per cent.”

Patients using the kits send samples for analysis. Many are diagnosed at the earliest stage when the chance of being cured is more than 80 per cent.

For every 100 home screening samples returned around two are found to be abnormal.

• For more information of the screening process and treatments for bowel cancer, visit www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/bowel/.