A new screening programme to detect early warning signs of bowel cancer could cut the number of deaths linked to the disease by 15%, the Health Minister has said.
Bowel cancer kills more than 400 people here each year, with 1,000 new cases annually. After lung cancer, it is the second most common cancer in the province.
The screening programme, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland in 20 years and the first to be offered to men, will be rolled out across the province, starting in the Northern and Western Trust areas.
Launching the programme at Whiteabbey Hospital yesterday, Michael McGimpsey called for further funding to allow him to extend screening to everyone aged between 50 and 74.