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Scotland Pharmacists to promote cancer screening
Pharmacists in Scotland are being urged to promote a government bowel screening programme, in a move that is being supported by the RPS.
The screening programme is the first to be offered to both men and women in Scotland and targets those aged between 50 and 74. Patients can send off for a free detection kit, which allows them to take samples at home and send them off for testing. Forms to request a kit will be offered by participating pharmacies.
The programme comes alongside the government's draft Detect Cancer Early Implementation Plan, which was put out for consultation this month. A £30 million support package has been set aside for implementation. Initially, the plan will concentrate on the three most common cancers in Scotland, which are breast, bowel and lung cancer. It will focus on raising the public's awareness of these screening programmes as a priority.
This comes at the same time when the BBC reported that the awareness of bowel cancer is ‘stubbornly low’. The Cancer Research UK-funded survey showed that many people did not know that lifestyle factors such as diet, weight and exercise affected risk.
The research, involving more than 1,500 people, also raised concerns about the lack of knowledge about symptoms. Less than one in 10 able were able to name anything other than changing bowel habits and blood in stools. There was a similar lack of awareness about risk factors. One in five mentioned a close relative having the disease and alcohol consumption affecting risk, but less than one in 10 could name any others.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "Bowel cancer is one of the biggest cancer killers in England and we know one of the main reasons is because too many people are diagnosed late.
Flame Health thinks this is good news that Scotland Pharmacists will potentially promote this screening programme. Are you a pharmacist in Scotland? What are your thoughts on this?