Bowel cancer charity slams Government.
A LEADING cancer charity has slammed the Welsh Government, saying Welsh lives are being lost due to delays in introducing a new screening test.
Bowel Cancer UK says the new technique, in which patients send one stool sample rather than three separate ones, will lead to more people being tested here.
In Wales take up rates for bowel cancer screening average 50% (Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board 51%) whereas England and Scotland's average is 58%.
A pilot of the new Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) in England saw a 10% rise in the number of people being screened for the disease.
One thousand people a year die in Wales from bowel cancer yet it is treatable and curable if caught early said Bowel Cancer UK chief executive Deborah Alsina.
"The best way to improve screening uptake is the introduction of FIT," she said. "The test has been proven to be more accurate and easier for people to complete.
"However the Welsh Assembly has still not approved the UK National Screening Committee's (UKNSC) recommendation three months after it was published."
Bowel Cancer is the third biggest killer in Wales, yet almost everyone survives if it's caught early enough.
The current guaiac Faecal Occult Blood Test (gFOBT) requires patients to send in three, separate samples over a two week period.
The gFOBT detects the presence of blood in stools, and indicator cancer may be present whereas the new FIT test measures the amount of blood, making it more accurate.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Earlier this year the Wales Screening Committee confirmed that Public Health Wales should continue with their planning to introduce FIT testing so as not to cause any unnecessary delays."
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)|
|Date:||Apr 25, 2016|
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