Bowel cancer is "incredibly treatable" if caught early, according to a British charity.
Bowel Cancer UK has said that the disease, which "starts as a polyp", is easily treated if detected early, but is often missed as symptoms present themselves late in many people.
Ian Beaumont, director of communications at Bowel Cancer UK, said that if this happens, the polyp "has grown in the bowel and beyond".
He added that bowel cancer could also spread to the liver and lungs, where it could prove terminal.
"In a survey, 84 per cent of people said that even if they had the symptoms they wouldn't act on them," added Mr Beaumont.
"Just under 50 per cent in the later stages are diagnosed at a point where they are not going to overcome the disease, which is about ten or 15 per cent higher than most other European countries and America."
Bowel cancer results in 16,100 deaths in Britain each year, according to Cancer Research UK.
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Cancer treatment news : 24/04/2008