Kerry people are slow to avail of a simple home test, which could diagnose and treat bowel cancer at an early stage. That’s according to the Irish Cancer Society, which has also revealed that 97 people were diagnosed with the disease in Kerry in 2013. Men and women between the ages of 60 and 69, are routinely written to and asked to participate in the BowelScreen programme. The Irish Cancer Society, which is currently running its bowel cancer awareness campaign, says early detection of bowel cancer can save lives. Despite this, only 40 percent of all eligible people in Ireland are availing of the test. Joan Kelly from the Irish Cancer Society says bowel cancer is very treatable, once caught early. She urged all Kerry people who receive a letter, to agree to the free test and have themselves checked out, especially if there is a family history of the illness. According to figures, there were 2, 485 cases of bowel cancer in Ireland in 2013.