Communications News: Charity to publicise Government's free bowel cancer tests

Colon Cancer Concern will run educational campaigns to publicise the bowel cancer screening programme that was announced by the Government last week.

The Government said that it would offer faecal occult blood tests to people in their sixties from April 2006.

The tests show whether any blood which may be a result of bowel cancer is present in a person's stool sample.

The individual will be recommended for further tests if blood is present.

The charity's chief executive, Jola Gore-Booth, said the decision was influenced by a "constant door-knocking campaign" in which charities urged senior politicians to implement such a scheme.

"We have not pushed screening to the public, knowing how reluctant the Government was to deliver it," she said.

"But we will now link it with our public awareness campaign by adding a page on screening to all literature we send to GP surgeries, workplaces and city councils.

"We will galvanise the public to ensure that they act to show enthusiasm for the screening, otherwise the Government will get complacent over the issue."

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