Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer nowadays in Britain. About 41,000 men and women are diagnosed each year. That amounts to one person diagnosed every 15 minutes.
Sixteen thousand people go on to die, and far too many premature deaths are entirely avoidable and curable.
A decade of bowel cancer screening also shows that nearly everyone will survive if diagnosed early.
This month sees a concentrated push to raise awareness of this.
That is why I am using this week’s column to reinforce the simple and life-saving message. I am asking all those between 60 and 74 to do the test when you receive the letter.
I want to help increase the number of people who do the screening as it may save their lives. As it happens, North Tyneside has a very slightly above average uptake.
But who wants to be just average when it comes to spotting and overcoming bowel cancer.
If your loved ones are 60 or over why not give them a gentle nudge to nip the killer disease in the bud.
Scientists also think that a healthier lifestyle of exercising more, drinking less and stopping smoking would prevent about half of all bowel cancers.
But don’t forget the test when it pops through your door. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with step by step instructions. Just a few minutes could save your life.