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Thousands of bowel cancer cases missed due to ‘unacceptable’ testing failures

Thousands of bowel cancer cases are being missed due to “unacceptable” testing failures, research in the BMJ shows. 

The UK research found that some providers carrying out colonoscopies were three times as likely as others not to spot signs of disease. At the worst units, almost one in ten cases which turned out to be bowel cancer were not picked up during the tests, the study led by the University of Leeds found. 

Researchers said that almost 4,000 more cases could have been prevented or treated sooner had there been better screening over a nine year period tracked. 

Researcher Roland Valori, Consultant Gastroenterologist from Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are seeing unacceptable variation in post colonoscopy bowel cancers between providers in the English NHS and this variation in quality needs to be addressed urgently.” 

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Source: The Telegraph, 2019


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