Health Ministry launches colorectal screening service

Health Authorities plan to invite up to 1,300 people per month to take the test.

Free colorectal screening service launched today.
Free colorectal screening service launched today.

Health Minister Joe Cassar launched the national programme to colorectal screening.

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Malta and affects both males and females. The risk increases for those aged 50 and over.

According to the Health Minister, 232 cases were reported in 2010, 119 of which were male. He said that around 100 deaths are reported due to colorectal cancer.

The screening will initially involve men and women aged between 60 and 64. They will receive invitations asking them to take the test and those who accept will receive a self-testing kit. One would then use a special stick provided with the kit to test for traces of blood in their faeces. The stick would then be placed in a bottle and sent to the Health Department.

If the test results return positive, the patients will then be asked to undergo further tests.

The service will be free of charge.

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