Sunday 21 September 2014

Group donates €90k to bowel cancer screening

Olivia Ryan

Published 15/01/2014 | 05:20

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Shay Englishby, Louth Hospital Administrator; Lizann Allen and Mary Convery from the society’s Drogheda Volunteer Group; John McCormack, CEO Irish Cancer Society; and Margaret Swords, Group General Manager at Louth County Hospital, at the cheque presentation.

THE Irish Cancer Society has donated €90,000 to the Louth County Hospital to support the continued rollout of the bowel cancer screening programme.

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The funding will be used to purchase equipment that will help develop colorectal symptomatic and screening services in the hospital.

BowelScreen is a Government-funded service delivered by the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS), which began offering free bowel cancer screening to people aged 60 to 69 in 2012.

In the longer term, it is planned to extend the programme to those aged 55 to 74. The donation from the Irish Cancer Society will help increase the capacity of the hospitals to respond to the increased demand for colonoscopies arising from the BowelScreen programme.

John McCormack, CEO of the Irish Cancer Society said: 'The Irish Cancer Society is delighted to be able to support the development of colorectal services in Louth with this donation.'

The funding is part of a €1 million donation which we have made available to support the expansion of colorectal services in hospitals around Ireland.

'We committed to making this contribution towards the rollout of the bowel cancer screening programme in 2009, as an expression of our commitment to ensuring that this vital service was rolled out at a time when Government was cutting spending and services.

We have campaigned for a bowel cancer screening programme that is available to everyone between the ages of 55 to 74 for many years.

Margaret Swords, Louth/Meath Hospital Group General Manager, said: 'Louth Meath Hospital Group greatly appreciates the funds provided today from the Irish Cancer Society.

These funds will allow us to invest in new video-colonoscopy equipment and will enhance the Colorectal Screening service we provide in Louth County Hospital to patients in the Louth and Meath area.'

Louth County Hospital site has commenced colorectal screening and the primary objective of the screening is to detect pre-cancerous adenomas in the lining of the bowel, thereby making colorectal screening a truly preventative health measure.

This funding has enabled the hospital to purchase three video colonoscopes.

The funding for the donation comes from a private bequest which was made to the Society.

'We are grateful to our donors and supporters who make it possible for us to work towards a future without cancer by ensuring that life-saving measures like bowel cancer screening are in place', Mr. McCormack said.

The Irish Cancer Society advises people who are concerned about bowel cancer or who have been experiencing bowel symptoms for four weeks or more to contact their GP immediately.

People who are concerned about bowel cancer can also speak in confidence with a specialist cancer nurse by calling the Irish Cancer Society's National Cancer Helpline on Freefone 1800 200 700.

The Argus

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