Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is launching a new cancer screening service this month.
The Trust is launching a bowel scope screening service as part of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. The screening will take place in the endoscopy unit at North Devon District Hospital.
George Thomson, medical director at the Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer bowel scope screening at North Devon District Hospital.
“We are always looking at how we can offer new things to improve the care people can receive in northern Devon, and we believe that local people will benefit a great deal from having this service close to home.”
Bowel scope screening is being offered as part of the long-standing Bowel Cancer Screening Programme run by the Trust and the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
Invitations for bowel scope screening are sent out to men and women once they have reached their 55th birthday. The service is being rolled out gradually, with the number of invites going out expected to increase over the next year.
Tanja Brackenbury, specialist bowel cancer screening practitioner at the Trust, said: “Invites have been sent out and the bowel cancer screening team are very excited about seeing their first patients this week.
“The key benefit of bowel scope screening is prevention of colorectal cancer. Bowel cancer is a very treatable condition when caught early, so we really encourage people to attend their bowel screening appointment, when invited.”
Bowel scope screening prevents colorectal cancer by detecting and removing certain polyps (abnormal growths of tissues) in the rectum and colon. People with high-risk polyps are invited for further treatment.
National evidence shows that bowel scope screening can help prevent colorectal cancer, with studies showing that two cases of colorectal cancer are prevented for every 300 people screened.
Bowel scope screening also reduces colorectal cancer mortality. Studies have shown that one colorectal cancer death is prevented for every 300 people screened.