The government will increase grants to the intestinal screening program by 18 million in next year’s state budget, so that it will be introduced nationwide from 2019.
Depending on the method, screening for intestinal cancer can reduce mortality by 14 to 28%. Including the government’s proposed increase, the cost of the program will amount to NOK 62.8 million in the next state budget.
‘This is good news for the patients. Norway is, unfortunately, one of the world’s highest for the occurrence of intestinal cancer in both sexes, with 4,300 cases, causing 1,500 deaths every year.
A national screening program for intestinal cancer is important in reducing occurrence, and mortality of intestinal cancer’, said health minister, Bent Høie of Høyre (H).
The proposal for the program states that all 55 year-olds should be called for screening.
It involves a biopsy examination that looks for precursors for cancer, and a blood-staining test. It will be carried out every two years for ten years.
The program will be introduced gradually, and will be offered nationwide in five years.
‘We have worked for this for a long time. Screening will save hundreds of lives, and save many people from suffering and late diagnosis’ said the General Secretary of the Cancer Association, Anne Lisa Ryel.
Part of the program will be a research project to show the effect of the screening in the Norwegian population.
Fremskrittsparti (Progress Party) leader, Siv Jensen, says that health has been an important focus area for the government, and that they’ll continue to invest in the area in the future.
‘The screening program will cover the entire population, and ensure an equal offer to everybody,’ she said.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today