All adults will be offered bowel cancer screening from the age of 50, in a bid to save thousands of lives, under new Government plans.
Currently, invitations are sent to men and women aged between 60 and 74, with home testing kits sent out.
The Health Secretary today agreed recommendations from advisors to bring down the age threshold by a decade, in a bid to detect cases far earlier, where treatment is likely to be more effective, improving survival chances.
The plans mean that everyone over 50 in England should in future be sent home testing kits to provide stool samples, using the faecal immunochemicalhome test kit (FIT).
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, and Public Health Minister, Steve Brine today agreed the recommendations.
From this autumn, the FIT test is being offered to men and women aged between 60 and 74, replacing existing tests
No timetable has yet been agreed for the rollout of the tests to those between 50 and 60, with details due to be published later this year.
The current bowel screening programme also offers a procedure, called a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is a one-off test offered to men and women at 55.
The committee recommends maintaining this until FIT is offered to the same age group.