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Half a million have been bowel cancer screened

Over a million people have been sent bowel cancer testing kits so far under the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme according to the Department of Health. About half of them have been used and returned.

Health minister Ann Keen answered a question in the House of Commons last week from Conservative MP Justine Keening. She said: 'Roll out of the national NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme only began in April 2006, with the first invitations sent out in July 2006. Full national implementation is expected by December 2009. Within the programme, men and women are sent an invitation letter a week before they are sent a testing kit to give them the opportunity to decline receiving a testing kit if they do not wish to receive one for personal or clinical reasons.

'As at 31 March 2008, 1,185,791 men and women had been sent an invitation letter, 1,099,653 had been sent a testing kit, and 590,769 had completed and returned a testing kit. This represents 50% of those who had been sent an invitation letter, and 54% of those who had been sent a testing kit. In addition, 17,192 men and women aged 70 or over had been sent a testing kit on request.'

Page created on May 13th, 2008

Page updated on December 1st, 2009