The Scottish Government’s campaign, which carries the message ‘Don’t take a chance. Take the test’, aims to highlight the fact that bowel cancer is a ‘hidden’ cancer as the early signs are usually not visible.
Dr Henderson said: “Recent figures show that nine out of 10 people will survive bowel cancer if it is detected early.
“There is no doubt that early detection significantly improves your chances of survival, which is why I would urge people to take up the opportunity to be screened.
“The difficult thing about bowel cancer is the early signs are difficult to see, therefore everyone has to be vigilant.
“Five year survival rates among people treated for the early stages of bowel cancer are over 90 per cent, compared with 10 per cent among people treated for advanced cancer.
“Taking part in bowel screening is all part and parcel of leading a healthy lifestyle.”
From April 2013, the bowel screening programme is being extended so that those over the age of 74 will be able to request a screening kit every two years.
This all comes as part of the Scottish Government’s £30 million Detect Cancer Early drive, which aims to increase the early detection of cancer by 25 per cent.
Inverness will welcome the first of many DCE road-shows this year on Thursday, March 14 when the Detect Cancer Early screening team rolls into the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Dr Henderson added: “Any way in which we can get the message of how important it is to catch this disease in its early stages has to be looked at.
“These road-shows, along with the Government’s new advertising campaign, are an ideal way of engaging the public with the importance of screening.”