Wed, 27 Jul 2011
A UEA clinical senior lecturer is a co-author of groundbreaking new research which could prevent thousands of people dying from bowel cancer every year.
Dr Andrew Hart, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Faculty of Health, University of East Anglia, is a co-author of groundbreaking new research which has found that a five-minute, one-off screening test could prevent thousands of people dying from bowel cancer every year.
The research team, led by Professor Wendy Atkins from Imperial College, London, tested the hypothesis that only one flexible sigmoidoscopy (Flexi-Scope) screening between 55 and 64 years of age can substantially reduce colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide and has a high mortality rate.
The researchers recruited 170,000 for the trail, a third of whom were invited for one-off screening using Flexi-Scope. Over 70 per cent of those invited chose to attend and the team screened a total of 40,674 people - including approximately 3,000 volunteers from Norfolk,who participated in the screening study research in the 1990s. The researchers found that for people aged between 55 and 64, a one-off Flexi-Scope examination reduced people’s chances of developing bowel cancer by a third, compared to a control group who were not screened. It also reduced the death rate from bowel cancer by 43 per cent.
The research, funded by Medical Research Council, National Health Service R&D, Cancer Research UK, KeyMed, was described as a “rare breakthrough” by Harpal Kumar, head of Cancer Research UK.
Dr Hart said, ”Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide, accounting for more than 1 million cases and 600,000 deaths every year. This simple flexible-scope is a safe and practical test and is a significant advance in the fight to prevent bowel cancer.”