HC Deb 30 April 1986 vol 96 c432W
Mr. Carter-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will publish assessments of public pilot schemes which have been set up to test the usefulness of diagnostic cancer screening tests other than cervical cytology and mammography involving general practitioners and clinics; and if he will make a statement:

(2) what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards regular screening of the population for the early detection of cancer; what plans he has to develop services in this respect; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hayhoe

Assessments of publicly funded pilot schemes set up to test the effectiveness of cancer screening tests are published in medical journals. There is at present no evidence to support the introduction of screening programmes for the early detection of cancers other than cancer of the cervix, for which there is already an extensive screening programme, and possibly cancer of the breast, which is at present under consideration by an expert working group.

I am advised that screening for lung and prostate cancer has been shown not be effective. Colo-rectal cancer screening is the subject of a 10-year research programme at Nottingham that subject started last July. The Health Education Council has given advice to the public on the signs to look for in the case of cancer of the testes and malignant melanoma.