CLATTERBRIDGE Cancer Centre has seen a 100 per cent increase in the number of suitable patients being referred for the treatment of early-stage bowel cancer.

The Papillon technique is a contact radiotherapy procedure developed for the treatment of what is the third most common type of cancer in the UK.  

It encourages adults to undertake a quick and easy at-home test to detect the early signs of the disease, when a patient would not necessarily be experiencing any symptoms.

In the year to December 2012, 100 people received the treatment. In the last six months this has risen to 200.

Lead Papillon clinician at the centre, professor Arthur Sun Myint, said: "Papillon is recommended for some early stage bowel cancer patients.

"The treatment means patients may have a better quality of life as they may not require major surgery, which can result in the need for either a temporary or permanent colostomy bag.

"The dedicated team here has seen first-hand how Papillon has developed over the years and how truly life-changing the procedure can be for patients."

Screening plays such an important part in the fight against bowel cancer because the earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance it can be cured completely.

Professor Myint continued: "It's a fantastic milestone for us and we can only see that number increasing.

"The success rate for the treatment is extremely high so the more patients who are diagnosed earlier and are eligible for the treatment, the better."