A Mearns couple have backed a national campaign to lower the age for bowel cancer screening.
Sarah Haugh does not believe her husband Richard would still be alive if he had lived outwith Scotland, where doctors were able to diagnose him with the disease at 50.
Screening for the condition begins at age 50 north of the border, but does not start until 60 in other parts of the UK.
Now the couple, of Laurencekirk, have backed a campaign calling for the age to be reduced across the country.
She said: “The screening test must be reduced to 50 across the UK because if we didn’t live in Scotland, my husband would not have had the screening test at age 50 and his cancer would have developed unnoticed from stage three to stage four.#
“The thought of that is indescribable.”
Research from charity Beating Bowel Cancer indicates that if the screening age was equalised across the UK more than 4,000 people in their 50s would be diagnosed and the 97% survival rate.
Judith Brodie, director of services at the charity, said Scotland had “got it right.”
She said: “Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer and it’s time we changed the odds for patients in their 50s in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“Scotland have got it right and it’s shocking that the patients in the rest of the UK are being so badly let down”.
“With the increase in the ageing population, there is no excuse for allowing this inequality to carry on.”