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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 16:23 GMT
New bowel cancer treatment hailed
Bowel scans
Bowel cancer is one of the UK's biggest killers
A team of doctors from Sheffield has discovered a new way of diagnosing bowel cancer which it claims vastly improves the chances of survival.

The procedure means tumours can be diagnosed and removed - without the need for surgery - within a day.

The team, from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, claims the early detection means 98% of patients who are treated within a day will live for five years.

Its work has won praise and an award from a medical research charity.

Being able to detect and treat bowel cancer this way will fundamentally change the way we approach this disease
Dr Paul Hurlstone, endoscopy consultant

The Sheffield team said the new endoscopic technology allows the bowel to be viewed in a level of detail that has never been seen before.

Tumours can then be instantly diagnosed and removed directly through the endoscope without the need for anaesthesia, chemotherapy or radical surgery.

Each year, around 35,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK and 16,000 people die from the disease.

Survival rates increase the earlier it is diagnosed.

'Revolutionary research'

Endoscopy consultant, Dr Paul Hurlstone, said: "Being able to detect and treat bowel cancer this way will fundamentally change the way we approach this disease and will save many lives.

"The ability to give an instant diagnoses and treatment will also ease the burden on patients and hospitals."

The Sheffield team received an award for their research from the BUPA Foundation on Thursday night.

Vice-chairman of the BUPA Foundation, Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, said: "This is a revolutionary piece of research that I believe has the potential to totally transform how we approach bowel cancer in this country."


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