Two new health initiatives will be introduced in the fight against cancer.
Boys from 12 to 13 years old in Northern Ireland should be offered a vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) cancer.
Introduces a Better Bowel Cancer Test.
These are significant public health announcements because they bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK.
From September, the HPV vaccine will be offered to all boys in the ninth year at school.
We hope that the immunization program will help reduce HPV related cancer diagnoses and save lives.
It was also decided that the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) would replace the fecal occult blood test (FOB) as the primary screening test for bowel cancer in the BCBP in Northern Ireland.
This, however, will not start until the beginning of 2020.
Permanent Secretary of Health Ministry Richard Pengelly stated that health care obviously benefits the public.
"Both decisions have been actively discussed for some time and can now be adopted once the allocation of the department's budget for this year is confirmed," he said.
A very high proportion of all women under the age of 25 has already taken advantage of the opportunity to be vaccinated against HPV since the program was first introduced in 2008, and intent on protecting children with similar rates of absorption.
What is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)?
- HPV is the name given to a common virus group; there are more than 100 types of HPV
- Many women will be infected with HPV during their lifetime without any bad effects
- In most cases there will be no symptoms, and the infection will be cleansed alone, but in some cases persistent infection can lead to cervical disease
- Some types of HPV are high risk because they are associated with the development of some types of cancer
- Almost all cases of cervical cancer (99.7%) are caused by HPV high risk infection
- Many types of HPV affect the mouth, throat or genital area. It's easy to catch them – you can get HPV from sexual contact.
Source: NHS choice
This extended program provides the ability to bring some HPV-related illnesses and cancers into the past and be based on the success of a program in girls.
The prevalence of major types causing cancer of HPVs 16 and 18 has already been reduced by more than 80%.
Dr. Michael McBride, chief physician, said, "We can now expect a future where we can be even safer to reduce cervical cancer and other types of HPV cancer affecting both men and women.
"This is an effective vaccine against a particularly harmful virus. I would encourage all parents to accept this offer and ensure the vaccination of their boys and girls."
A new test screen for FIT hose will be introduced from the beginning of 2020.
Though charitable cancer organizations welcome this move, they hoped they could be introduced earlier.
- The self-test kit "saved me life"
- Jeremy Bowen has been diagnosed with bowel cancer
Evidence has shown that increased patient acceptance for a FIT probing test, and increased probira use means that more lives can be saved.
Every year in Northern Ireland there are about 1,100 new cases of bowel cancer, with more than 400 deaths.
BCSP seeks to pick up bowel cancer at an early stage, when treatment can be 90% successful.
What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?
- bleeding from your bottom and / or blood in your throat
- persistent and inexplicable change in bowel habits
- inexplicable weight loss
- extreme fatigue without obvious cause
- pain or stomach pain
"Existing bowel cancer testing has proven to be extremely valuable in early detection of cancer, and it is therefore necessary for people invited to participate in the Northern Ireland Program of 60-74.
The expansion of HPV vaccination on adolescent boys is based on the advice of the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), an independent group of experts providing advice to four UK Health Departments.
In January 2016, the UK National Review Commission recommended that the Intestinal Cancer Program (BCBP) be adopted as a Quantitative Fecal Immunochemistry Test (FIT) as the primary screening test for intestine cancer.