Scotland announces new bowel cancer test
Bowel Cancer UK welcomes the introduction of a new simplified bowel cancer test in Scotland to increase participation in the national bowel screening programme.
The new FIT (faecal immunochemical test) home screening test, that will see participants returning just one bowel motion sample instead of the three samples required for the current test, will be introduced over the next two years to help boost uptake in the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme from its current level of 56.1per cent1.
The announcement of the test was made by Health Secretary Shona Robison who joined cancer clinicians, charities and patients to mark the three year anniversary of the Scottish Government's £30 million Detect Cancer Early (DCE) programme, which has received an additional £9 million commitment for 2015/16.
The existing test has proved hugely valuable in detecting cancer early and remains the most effective way of detecting bowel cancer in its earliest stages. It is therefore essential that Scots aged 50-74 continue to complete and return the test they receive through their door during the transition period.
Professor Robert Steele, Director of the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme, added:
"The bold approach of DCE has helped break down barriers people face when it comes to talking about 'down there' and resulted in even more bowel screening kits being requested and returned than ever before."
"It's fair to say that Scotland has taken several strides in the last three years towards making bowel screening a social norm and we expect the introduction of the new bowel screening test will continue to drive uptake rates in the national screening programme, saving more lives."
Emma Anderson, Bowel Cancer UK, said: "Before DCE the topic of bowel cancer was a hard thing to raise. Since the campaign people are openly talking to us, asking questions and telling us about their experiences. It's helped normalise what was an otherwise difficult topic."