Beating bowel cancer together

New NHS study expected to almost halve number of endoscopies by 2020

Friday 29 September 2017

An NHS England funded study is expected to almost halve the number of endoscopy procedures by 2020. 

The Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a home testing kit that looks for hidden blood in poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer. By using FIT in this way, we can better identify patients who would most benefit from a colonoscopy. 

This could mean more than 100,000 NHS patients in England avoid the need for colonoscopies each year. It could also save the NHS millions, as each colonoscopy costs the NHS £372 compared to about £5 for the FIT test.

The research will be led by Croydon Health Service NHS Trust (CHS) and is England’s largest study into the accuracy of FIT in different populations, such as age, sex and ethnicity. 

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “This important study will help to increase understanding of how FIT can be used to better identify people in need of a colonoscopy.

“It is also predicted to help to reduce demand on the overstretched endoscopy service across England, which is vital. We hope that using FIT in this way will also help to speed up the diagnostic process for those at greatest risk of developing bowel cancer. Therefore leading to more people being diagnosed early when the disease is most treatable and curable.

“We will follow the trial with great interest.”

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