An over-the counter-test could soon be used to assess whether an individual is at risk of bowel cancer, according to researchers from the Open University.
The new urine test is designed to help people find out their risk levels before the disease develops so that they can adapt their lifestyles and diets accordingly.
It looks for abnormal pieces of DNA which come from damaged bowel cells and appear in the very early stages of the disease.
Dr Maria Velasco-Garcia, who is leading the research, said: "We are very excited about this piece of research as it will mean that more people can be screened before the cancer has started to develop."
Despite being Britain's third most common cancer, affecting more than 36,000 people each year, bowel cancer screening tests are only available to people between 60 and 69 years of age.
The project is being backed by a £50,000 donation from the World Cancer Research Fund.
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