New Screening Programmes For Cancer

11 December 2012, 09:12 | Updated: 11 December 2012, 10:05

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is unveiling plans for new cancer screening programmes, which ministers believe will save up to 3,000 lives a year.

The Government is piloting a new, more sensitive test for cervical cancer which could mean women would need screening half as often, while identifying abnormal cells at an earlier, more treatable stage.

One of the places it will be piloted in is Northwick Park in north west London.

Pilot programmes to screen over-55s for bowel cancer will also be launched in five areas in England.

The scheme will enable doctors to detect and remove polyps before they turn cancerous. It will also allow cancers to be caught earlier.

Mr Hunt, who is addressing the Britain Against Cancer conference in London, says he wants to bring standards in England up to the best in Europe.

For some cancer types, survival rates are 10% to 15% lower in England than in comparable countries such as Australia, Canada and Sweden.