Sinn Féin Councillor Claire Canavan is requesting an urgent meeting with the Health Minister after his department stated that extending the age range for bowel cancer screening would not yet be considered.
Cllr Claire Canavan said:
“I’m disappointed that the Department of Health have said that they would not yet consider extending the age range for bowel cancer screening.
“This follows on from my recent motion to Belfast City Council calling for the age range to be extended and to trial breast cancer screening at a lower age.
“While it’s welcome that the faecal immunochemical test will be adopted as the primary test for bowel cancer in early 2020, extending the age should happen alongside the move to the new test. These are lives we are talking about after all.
“We also need the vital research trial for breast cancer to be carried out here. We shouldn’t be relying on trials in England to determine outcomes in Ireland. We need our own trial to inform future policy.
“Alongside my party colleague Colm Gildernew MLA, we have requested an urgent meeting with the Health Minister to discuss these issues and press him on the urgent need to extend the screening age to save people’s lives.”