§ Ms. Richardson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will initiate a nationwide cancer screening campaign along the lines of those run by the chest x-ray unit and the blood transfusion service carried out by the National Health Service.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
No. There is no practicable mass screening test for cancer. There is a well-established cervical cancer screening programme and I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, Moorlands (Mr. Knox) on 17 May at column259. I am afraid that there is insufficient scientific evidence on the value of breast cancer screening and the Government are funding a major research programme to determine its efficacy. I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen) on 7 February at column 577.