Bowel cancer treatment and diagnostic screening methods are helping the fight against the disease.
A new study commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership found that surgery was becoming more widely used and more successful.
Key-hole procedures were used in 30 per cent of bowel cancer cases in the 12-month period prior to July 2010 – a figure which is five percentage points higher than the annual period leading to July 2009.
The number of patients who die within 30 days of surgery fell to 3.7 per cent.
"Changes in surgical techniques, use of state of the art imaging techniques and the further reduction in 30-day post-operative mortality are to be welcomed," said the clinical leader of the report Paul Finan.
He said that the statistics could be improved further if some patients were assigned a consultant as soon as they are admitted.
According to Cancer Research UK, bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK and 80 per cent of cases are diagnosed in patients over 60.