Guernsey bowel cancer screening pilot scheme begins

Letters signalling the beginning of a bowel cancer screening pilot scheme have been sent to Guernsey residents.

The Health and Social Services department has invited people who will turn 60 in the first two months of 2012 to take part in the initiative.

All will be asked to attend the Princess Elizabeth Hospital for a screening session with a specialist.

The department says the pilot scheme will enable a formal service to be designed for the island's population.

Dr Stephen Bridgman, the Bailiwick's Director of Public Health, said: "It is crucial that residents have an acceptable service that is most comfortable to them.

"This [scheme] is proven to reduce both the numbers of cancers and also the death from cancers in the future."

Dr Bridgman said bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Guernsey, with around 35 cases per year.

The funding for a local scheme attracted controversy in 2010, with calls from local politicians to take funding away from the island's Culture and Leisure department to pay for screening.

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