Surgeons are detecting bowel cancer quicker at Queen’s Hospital with a new ‘immuno-chemical’ test that’s able to check blood levels to detect colorectal cancers quicker.

Queen’s is taking part in pilot trials, the first hospital in the country to run the test at its A&E.

“This is the first time this testing has been offered in hospital,” cancer clinical surgeon Sas Banerjee said.

“Patients with symptoms like abdominal pain, weight loss or a change in bowel habits or rectal bleeding will be given a test to complete at home.

“Their sample is analysed once it’s returned to a drop-off point. Patients are contacted if it shows positive for colorectal cancer.”

The tests aim to reduce waiting times to be diagnosed, to be put onto an urgent cancer path for treatment if tests show positive.

The trials are being carried out by the NHS trust for Barking, Havering and Redbridge in collaboration with Bart’s which runs Whipps Cross, the second hospital in the trials which is due to begin the tests soon.