SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Three national screening programmes for cancer which had been put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak are going to be re-started, the health ministry has announced.
Preventative testing for bowel cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer will be re-introduced in phases, the ministry said. Test kits for bowel cancer will be sent off from this week, while screening for breast and cervical cancer will resume from mid-June if sufficient protective equipment is available.
‘National screening programmes are a very important part of preventative healthcare. Early detection and speedy treatment can help many overcome the disease. The coronavirus crisis made a temporary halt inevitable,’ junior health minister Paul Blokhuis said in a briefing to parliament.
Blokhuis stressed that screening will have to take place safely and that this would depend on the availability of sufficient protective clothing for staff.