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New test for bowel cancer could aid screening programme

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 08 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1354
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    Researchers at the United Kingdom's Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK have developed a new test for bowel cancer that is far less invasive than the current method, the Lancet reports this week (2002;359;1917-9).

    If successful, the new test could be used in a mass screening programme for bowel cancer. When detected early, bowel cancer is highly curable. At the moment patients are examined by a colonoscopy, which can be uncomfortable, and compliance is poor.

    The new test identifies abnormal colon cells from stool samples. These cells are naturally shed from …

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