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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Bowel cancer testing centre opens
Shona Robison
Ms Robison called the screening programme 'groundbreaking'
Thousands of lives could be saved by a bowel cancer screening programme run from Dundee, according to the minister for public health.

Shona Robison's comments came as she officially opened the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre, which is based in the city's King's Cross hospital.

It will carry out tests on samples sent by post from all over Scotland.

Every man and woman in the country aged between 50 and 74 will be invited to be screened every two years.

More than 3,000 people are diagnosed with the disease in Scotland every year.

'Huge impact'

It is the third most common cancer in Scotland after lung and breast cancer and can be treated successfully in 90% of cases.

Ms Robison was also due to visit a heart clinic in the city's Hilltown area, which offers health checks in the community, before chairing the NHS Tayside Annual Review.

She said: "The two projects I am visiting in Dundee are great examples of very simple things that the NHS can do which have a really huge impact on people's lives.

"By screening people for bowel cancer, the groundbreaking new Scottish Bowel Cancer Screening Programme has the potential to save thousands of lives.

"Taking heart clinics out into the community to reach those people who have not accessed services is exactly the kind of anticipatory care that I want to see more of in the NHS in Scotland."

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