More people are taking part in the bowel screening programme in the north-east than the national average in Scotland.
New statistics released by Information Services Division (ISD) shows NHS Grampian had an overall uptake of bowel screening of 67.1% compared to the average of 61.6% across Scotland.
The statistics show data up to April 30 2019.
Bowel cancer is the third most commonly-occurring cancer in Scotland, and the second most common cause of death from the disease.
Screening helps to identify at an early stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective.
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In Scotland, men and women aged between 50 and 74 years old are invited to be screened every two years. Eligible people are posted a kit which can be completed at home and sent back for testing.
In the NHS Grampian area, 64.3% of males and 69.9% of females eligible for the test were screened.This compares with only 59.9% of males and 64.1% of females in Scotland as a whole.
Of those in the north-east, 2.65% of people tested were diagnosed with the disease compared to the 2.76% average in Scotland.
There were 191,698 people eligible to be screened in Grampian up until April 30 last year – the fourth highest number behind Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lothian and Lanarkshire.
NHS Grampian also outperforms the overall programme target of 60%, which is aimed to see as many people screened for bowl cancer as possible.
A new bowel screening test, the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), was launched on November 20 2017, replacing the previously used Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT).
Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “The new home test for bowel screening is more reliable and sensitive than previous methods, increasing the chance of detecting and preventing cancer.
“The fact that more than a million people have been screened since the test’s introduction – more than ever before – with uptake considerably above target shows what a difference it is making.
“The increase in participation from groups who tend to have lower uptake, including men and those who live in more deprived communities, is particularly encouraging to see. We know that the earlier a cancer is detected, the greater the chances of successful treatment and often cure.”
Dr Perminder Phull, clinical lead for the bowel screening programme, said: “I would encourage everyone from the age of 50 to 74 to take part in the Bowel Screening Programme. Bowel cancer can occur in people without any symptoms, but if detected early through screening then there is a very high chance of successful treatment.”