Health Service of England scaling up program to detect cancers earlier

NHS of England is introducing more cancer screening tests as part of Manchester mobile program.

The National Health Service of England said it is scaling up a program to detect lung cancer earlier and also unveiled a new test to catch bowel cancer.

The country’s health service announced the news Tuesday during the Economist War on Cancer event in London. 

During the event, Simon Stevens, the service’s chief executive, pointed to the success of the Manchester scanning program that used mobile scanners to detect four out of five cases of lung cancer in the early stages. The mobile scanning trucks were able to find one cancer for every 33 patients scanned over the course of a year.

Additionally, Stevens unveiled plans to use FIT, a more sensitive bowel cancer test that is expected to catch as many as 1,500 more cancer cases in their early stages each year.

The FIT bowel cancer test can be used at home. The NHS forecasts that nearly a third of a million people will be screened after the test is rolled out.

“NHS cancer care is the best it’s ever been, with cancer survival increasing every year,” Stevens said in a statement. “Over the next 18 months the NHS will be rolling out new mobile and home screening kits to detect cancers earlier, when they can be treated best.”

Under the Manchester lung cancer pilot program, more than 2,500 people were scanned in underserved areas of the city. The testing found 46 cases of cancer, of which 80% were early stage one and two diagnoses.

Based on that success rate, the program is being introduced into north Manchester, an area that has the highest number of deaths from lung cancer in England among people under the age of 75.