A FREE five minute home test has detected early signs of bowel cancer in dozens of people.
Growths that could become cancerous were found in 176 people after NHS Derby City and NHS Derbyshire County extended their programme to people aged between 70 and 75 in January 2010.
Out of that group 32 were diagnosed with cancer, with 411 having abnormal results requiring hospital scans or internal checks.
An additional 100 patients may also require further tests and checks to prevent the third most commonest cause of cancer developing.
All took a five-minute test at home after receiving a screening invite from NHS Derbyshire allowing them to take advantage of free home testing kits which can pick up early signs of bowel cancer.
More than 200 people, aged between 60 and 75, have been diagnosed with cancer since the programme started.
Julie Yapp, cancer screening coordinator, said: “We’re delighted that our bowel cancer screening programme is continuing to play a vital role in helping to save the lives of hundreds of people in Derby and Derbyshire.
“As from January 2010 we have been offering the test to everyone aged between 60 and 75 every two years and these latest figures show the massive impact a quick home test can have.”
Derbyshire was one of the first counties to introduce the bowel cancer screening scheme in 2007 and extend it to older people.
A new technology called flexible sigmoidoscopy, currently trialling in the county, detects and removes polyps that could develop into cancer by a thin tube.
Most people request home test kits, where patients send samples from their bowel movements over the course of three days. These are then sent for analysis.
Many are diagnosed at the earliest stage when the chance of being cured is more than 80 per cent.