Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Photo of Michael McNamaraMichael McNamara (Clare, Independent)
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330. To ask the Minister for Health if he has considered making the cystosponge test for oesophageal cancer diagnosis available in Ireland; if he will outline any plans to do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2597/23]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The Deputy's question relates to the Cytosponge test, which was developed primarily as a potential diagnostic test for the condition of Barrett's oesophagus in high risk populations.

Barrett's oesophagus is a medical condition where some cells in the oesophagus grow abnormally. Barrett's oesophagus can increase the risk of oesophageal cancer, although the increased risk is still small. Most people with this condition do not develop oesophageal cancer. Diagnosing Barret’s oesophagus, and offering affected people timely surveillance and treatment if appropriate, can reduce their risk of developing oesophageal cancer.

It is very important to note that this test is not designed to screen for, or make a diagnosis of, oesophageal cancer. There is currently no available screening test for oesophageal cancer. Endoscopy is the standard diagnostic test in patients with at risk symptoms, and provides a clear diagnosis.


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