Screening programmes for cancer to start up again


Three national screening programmes for cancer which had been put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak are going to be re-started, the health ministry has announced.

Preventative testing for bowel cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer will be re-introduced in phases, the ministry said. Test kits for bowel cancer will be sent off from this week, while screening for breast and cervical cancer will resume from mid June if sufficient protective equipment is available.

‘National screening programmes are a very important part of preventative healthcare. Early detection and speedy treatment can help many overcome the disease. The coronavirus crisis made a temporary halt inevitable,’ junior health minister Paul Blokhuis said in a briefing to parliament.

Blokhuis stressed that screening will have to take place safely and that this would depend on the availability of sufficient protective clothing for staff.

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