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Cancer: Screening

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to increase the uptake of screening for cancer; what initiatives are being undertaken in Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. (189063)

It is important to remember that no screening method is perfect and anyone invited to be screened for cancer must be aware of both the benefit and harm of being screened and be able to make an informed decision on whether to take part or not.

However, we do recognise the important role that screening plays and, as set out in the ‘Cancer Reform Strategy’, we are taking steps to build on and improve our existing screening services.

This includes extending the age ranges for both breast and bowel screening, so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to be screened. We estimate that this will mean that an extra three million men and women will be screened over the next five years.

It is for strategic health authorities working in partnership with their primary care trusts, local screening services and stakeholders to provide appropriate cancer screening services for their local populations, this includes promotion of local screening services.