Under the programme, men and women aged 60 to 69 are sent a kit for faecal occult blood tests to identify those at risk of bowel cancer.
Extrapolating data from a pilot study of the programme to the whole of England showed that if just 60 per cent of those invited for screening take up the offer, there would be as many as 20,000 fewer deaths in 20 years time.
If uptake is as high as 80 per cent, as many as 25,000 lives could be saved.
As part of its Screening Matters campaign, Cancer Research UK is calling on the government to commit to screen at least three million more people for breast, bowel and cervical cancer over the next five years. It also wants the government to reduce variation in screening across the UK and reach out to those failing to attend for screening.
Cancer Research UK
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