Date of release: Friday 6th November, 2015
Wolverhampton Screening Centre first in the country to fully roll out new screening test that improves early diagnosis of Bowel Cancer.
In 2013 the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, in partnership with the Dudley Group of Hospitals, was chosen as one of the six pilot sites to implement Bowel Scope Screening in England.
The Screening Centre is the first site in the country to offer the new test to the whole of its local population covering Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall, and South Staffordshire.
All men and women aged 55 are invited by post to attend the one-off procedure, which uses a flexible tube to look inside the large bowel.
The 10-minute procedure, called a flexible sigmoidoscopy, helps prevent bowel cancer at its earliest stages by detecting and removing small growths called polyps that could become cancerous in the future.
Over 9,000 patients have been screened since implementation but despite this less than half of those invited take part in this new screening initiative.
Those already aged over 55 can request to be screened at any time up until their 60th birthday by calling 0800 707 60 60 to ask for an appointment.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with around 16,000 people dying from the disease each year (Cancer Research UK, 2015).
Dr Andrew Veitch, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Director of Bowel Cancer Screening, said: “We are very proud to be the first screening centre in the country to offer this cancer preventing service to our complete population”.
Julie Corrigan of Eastfield, Wolverhampton said: “Accepting the invitation to bowel cancer screening has saved my life.
“I had no symptoms whatsoever and no inkling that anything might be amiss, but pre-cancerous polyps were found and removed during the procedure, which is precisely what it is intended for.
“I would urge everyone who receives an offer of an appointment to take it up - don't hesitate - no-one should die of embarrassment", she added.
Bowel Scope screening is in addition to the existing NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, which uses the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). All men and women between the ages of 60-75, will continue to be invited to take part in the national screening programme using a home screening kit every two years.
This programme has been running in Wolverhampton for almost a decade now and has detected over 440 cancers and 2740 potential pre-cancerous growths (adenomas), proving that screening really can save lives.
By completing the tests, patients who have no symptoms with early stages of cancer can be identified quicker and the earlier we find this, the better the outcome. Many find the test embarrassing or say they don’t have time, but Bowel Cancer Screening is important to reduce the risk for the future.
For further information please call 0800 707 6060.