Cancer Research UK, a charity dedicated to research into cancer treatment, has announced that people who use a self-testing kit may be significantly less likely to die from bowel cancer.
These kits are currently being sent to men and women in their 60s throughout the country, allowing them to take a simple test to detect bowel cancer.
According to researchers, even if only 60 per cent of those eligible for bowel screening were to use the test, there would be 20,000 fewer deaths over the next two decades.
A testing rate of 80 per cent would result in as many as 25,000 deaths from bowel cancer being prevented during the same time period.
Maxine Taylor, executive director of policy and communications at Cancer Research UK, said: "These new predictions indicate how valuable the NHS bowel screening programme will be in cutting the rising toll of bowel cancer deaths.
"It is important that the programme is rolled out as efficiently and quickly as possible so that the maximum number of eligible men and women can benefit."
Men and women aged between 60 and 69 are eligible for screening and should be tested every two years.
Over 30,000 cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK, with a death rate of about 50 per cent, making it the second greatest cause of cancer death in the UK.
© Adfero Ltd
Cancer treatment news : 24/07/2007