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NHS England announced a new system currently being trialled in high street pharmacies across England. Pharmacies will be funded to spot signs of cancer as part of a new drive to catch tumours early when they are easier to treat.
Customers will then be sent for scans and other checks for cancer. This new initiative is being trialled by pharmacies as part of radical NHS England action, that also includes mobile liver scanning and targeted genetic testing.
The NHS Long Term Plan is committed to increasing the proportion of cancers caught early, when they are easier to treat, from 50% to 75% over the next 10 years.
The community pharmacy pilot, to be carried out in areas across the country, will see staff spot signs of cancer in people who might not have noticed symptoms.
Those with symptoms, including a cough that lasts for three weeks or more, difficulty swallowing, or blood in their urine will be referred for scans and checks without needing to see a GP if staff think it could be cancer.