An analysis of the first one million test results, published today in Gut reveals that the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in England is on track to cut bowel cancer deaths by 16 per cent.
The results show a much higher proportion of cancers detected were left sided, suggesting that different strategies may need to be deployed to pick up disease on both sides of the body, as right sided cancers are thought to be more aggressive, say the authors.They base their findings on an analysis of the first 1.08 million faecal occult blood tests, returned by patients invited for the first round of bowel cancer screening in England.
To date, around 12 million test kits have been sent out by the Programme and over 11,000 cancers have been detected.
Professor Julietta Patnick CBE, Director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, said:
"We are delighted to report these results on the first million people we screened in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and are pleased to be on track to match the research findings and cut bowel cancer deaths by 16 per cent. Early detection is crucial to lowering the number of deaths from bowel cancer which is currently the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. The earlier cancer is detected, the higher the chances of successful treatment.
"The paper also reports that a higher proportion of cancers detected were on the left side of the bowel compared with the right. This finding mirrors a general global trend and is subject to on-going evaluation and investigation into different screening strategies."
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About bowel screening
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More information about the
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