Timely reminder to return screening kits

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April is bowel cancer awareness month and the Northern Trust is reminding anyone in Larne who has received a screening kit to make sure it is completed and returned promptly.

The Northern Ireland Bowel Cancer Screening Programme offers screening every two years to men and women aged 60 to 71. People in this age group are sent an invitation, information materials and a screening kit to do the test at home.

Bowel cancer kills more than 400 people annually in Northern Ireland, with 1,000 new cases per year.

Dr Paul Lynch, consultant gastroenterologist said: “The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme can detect signs of bowel cancer at a very early stage, when there is a 90 per cent chance that treatment will be successful.”

Sharon Henry, specialist screening practitioner said, “The aim of the screening programme is early detection of potential cancers and to treat before they or the symptoms develop. The majority of cancers that we have picked up have come from people with absolutely no symptoms, so even if people have no symptoms and feel well, they should still participate in the programme and complete and return the kit.”