[WATCH] National colorectal cancer screening saves 33 with early detection

Colorectal cancer screening to be now offered to people between 55 and 69 years of age

The government's colorectal campaign has been expanded to cover people aged 55 to 69, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced today
The government's colorectal campaign has been expanded to cover people aged 55 to 69, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced today
National colorectal cancer screening saves 33 with early detection

The government's colorectal cancer campaign helped save 33 patients through early detection of the disease, health minister Chris Fearne said.

The campaign, which started six years for patients aged 60 to 64, has now been expanded to a cohort covering a span of 15 years, with screening now being made available to people aged 55 to 69.

"Last year we invited more than 31,000 persons to do the screening, and we had a response rate of 55%. Of these, 700 were subsequently asked to do a colonoscopy, and 33 cases of colorectal cancer were detected. Had these patients not undergone the screening and had their cancers detected early, it is likely that they would have lost their lives," Fearne said, announcing an expansion for the programme.

Colorectal cancer is generally curable if it is detected early on, with there being a 90% possibility of removing all traces of cancer within the body if treatment starts immediately.

"Every year we have around 270 new cases of colorectal cancer. This disease can lurk hidden in the body. Screening works, it helps prevent it," Fearne said, noting that March is the month dedicated to colorectal cancer and its prevention, and thanking local councils for their collaboration in the campaign. 

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