London: A new test for bowel cancer that could save 3,000 lives a year, would soon become a part of the national screening programme in UK.
Under a new five-point anti-cancer strategy by the Coalition, 60 million dollar would be spent over four years to incorporate a technique called flexible sigmoidoscopy into the national screening programme.
Flexi-scope, as it is also known, allows for faster diagnosis of early-stage bowel cancer and the removal of pre-cancerous polyps in the lowest section of the large intestine.
It could help two-thirds of people at risk of bowel and rectal cancers.
A 16-year clinical trial of Flexi-scope, co-funded by Cancer Research UK, indicated it could prevent 10,000 people getting bowel cancer annually and almost half deaths among those screened.
"The recent trial results of this method of detecting and removing polyps before they develop into bowel cancer can truly be called a breakthrough," the Telegraph quoted Harpal Kumar of Cancer Research UK as saying.
"We believe it could cut the number of cases of bowel cancer by a third and deaths from the disease by almost half (43 per cent) among those attending screening - thousands of lives every year," he added.