Wolverhampton has been chosen to pilot a new bowel cancer screening programme that health bosses say will save thousands of lives every year by detecting the disease earlier, it was announced today.
A new cervical screening test will also be carried out on women in the city.
Letters will be sent out to residents aged over 55 asking them to have a test at a local health centre or at the city’s New Cross Hospital.
They will be tested for abnormal tissue growths using technology called bowel scope screening, which government health bosses hope could help bring the country up to the standards of the best in Europe.
The screening allows doctors to remove abnormal cells and so stop any turning in to cancer at a later date. It also allows cancers to be caught earlier, when they are more treatable.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Today we have unveiled plans for pilots for a new bowel cancer screening programme which could save 3,000 lives a year, and a new cervical screening test with increased accuracy which will mean women may only need to be screened half as often.”
Wolverhampton has been chosen along with Norwich, South of Tyne, St Mark’s Hospital in Harrow, London, Surrey and West Kent.