A screening programme for bowel cancer has been started across England.
The new screening programme offered to men and women between the age of 60 and 74 is based on people collecting their own stool samples and sending it to a lab in a special package.
The lab checks for the presence of blood in the stools, which could be an early indication of colorectal cancer.
Even though one among every 100 people tested may receive a positive for fecal blood, there is no reason to panic as it is not always a sign of cancer, although it signals the need for further investigation.
A colonoscopy is then performed to ascertain the cause of bleeding. When cancer is detected in the initial stages, the survival chances are good.