NNUH one of six Trusts offering new bowel cancer screening programme
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is one of six Trusts across the country which will be piloting a new bowel-cancer screening programme to everyone aged over 55.
The screening involves a thin, bendy tube with a camera attached being placed into the rectum and lower bowel.
Currently, those aged 60-69 in England are offered faecal occult blood tests. If any blood is found in the faeces, the person will be invited for further tests – usually a colonoscopy, where a thin, flexible tube with a camera is guided along the entire length of the large bowel.
The new screening will invite younger, symptomless patients to have a similar camera check, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, of the lower part of their large bowel to look for any abnormal growths.
Screening in this way allows doctors to remove growths that might otherwise turn in to cancer and treat any cancers already present.
Dr Richard Tighe, NNUH Consultant Gastroenterologist, said: “Over 90% of cases of bowel cancer can be treated successfully if caught in the initial stages, so screening is essential to ensure we give patients the best chance of recovery.
About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime.
It is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with more than 16,000 people dying from it each year.