NORTH EAST TO LEAD NEW FIGHT AGAINST COLORECTAL CANCER
A stlg2.5 million screening programme to improve the detection of
colorectal cancer in Scotland is to be piloted in Tayside, Grampian
Scottish Health Minister Sam Galbraith confirmed today on a visit to
Dundee's Ninewells Hospital that the north-east would host the
initiative which is expected to last for two-three years.
Screening for colorectal cancer - which joins the existing national
screening programmes for breast and cervical cancer - will be targeted
at both men and women aged between 50-69. Colorectal cancer affects
over 3,000 Scots each year, killing nearly 1,700.
Mr Galbraith said:
"This is a major step forward in our continuing battle against one of
Scotland's 'killing diseases'. Colorectal cancer is a blight on the
lives of over 3,000 Scots and their families each year. However,
catching the disease early can make a huge difference in terms of
"Last month, we launched our Public Health White Paper 'Towards a
Healthier Scotland'. We promised a pilot colorectal cancer screening
initiative as part of our cutting-edge demonstration project - The
Cancer Challenge. Today, we are delivering the detail on that
"We expect about 100,000 people to be invited for screening each year.
Our main target group is those aged between 50 and 69 - because this
is a disease which becomes far more prevalent with age. At present,
our five-year survival rates for this disease are lower than other
European countries. We want to improve that - and early detection is a
major factor in achieving that aim.
"Once again Scotland is in the forefront of new developments in the
NHS. I hope that this pilot proves effective and that we can look
carefully at developing this into a truly national scheme."
1. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths
in the UK - with 93 per cent of these deaths occurring in people over
2. Screening will be carried out by a simple test which can be carried
out at home. These test samples are then sent to laboratories for
further test. In the event of a positive result a patient would be
called in for follow-up investigations.
3. An English pilot scheme covering Coventry and Warwickshire is also
announced today by Tessa Jowell, Minister for Public Health.
News Release: 0485/99
2 March 1999
Dr Callum G Fraser
Clinical Director of Biochemical Medicine
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phone +44 1382 660111
FAX +44 1382 645333