New bowel cancer screening service

A ground-breaking cancer screening programme is being rolled out across Yarmouth and Waveney.The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital became one of the first in the country to offer bowel cancer screening last August.

A ground-breaking cancer screening programme is being rolled out across Yarmouth and Waveney.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital became one of the first in the country to offer bowel cancer screening last August.

Since then, screening for the cancer - the second biggest cause of cancer deaths in this country - has been on offer to older people in Norwich, Broadland, north Norfolk and south Norfolk. Around 20,000 people have been tested and one case of bowel cancer has been picked up every week.

Now it is being launched in Yarmouth and Waveney in a partnership between the Norfolk and Norwich and James Paget University Hospitals. From next week, men and women aged 60 to 69 will be invited to take part. The invitation will come with a leaflet explaining the test, which can be done in the privacy of their home.

The test detects tiny traces of blood and indicates whether further tests are needed. Patients will then visit specialist nurses at the James Paget, and if they need a colonoscopy, or test on their bowel, will have it done at the N&N.

Bowel cancer is most common in those over 60, and although it kills 16,000 people a year in this country, most survive if it is caught early.

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The launch at the James Paget today is being backed by Radio Broadland DJ Chrissie Jackson, whose father died of bowel cancer.

She said: "I lost my dear old dad to bowel cancer and as a family we know the pain this disease brings to so many. Bowel cancer is a difficult disease for many people to talk about, but this screening programme will help save lives."

Consultant gastroenterologist Richard Tighe, who leads the bowel screening programme at the N&N, said: "This new service is a lifesaver and we are delighted that men and women in Yarmouth and Waveney will be among the first in the country to have the opportunity to be screened for bowel cancer.

"This programme means that they can now access screening in the privacy of their own homes. I strongly encourage everyone offered the opportunity to participate."

Bernard Brett, consultant gastroenterologist at the James Paget, said: "This important new service is going to bring real benefits. It will save lives from bowel cancer as well as prevent the need for surgery in some individuals."

People aged 70 and over can call

free on 0800 707 6060 to request a

testing kit.

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