PREMIERSHIP football stars are urging fans to take a cancer test in a bid to tackle the disease early.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon and his players are helping to raise awareness of bowel cancer as part of the Scottish Government's Detect Cancer Early campaign.

Ahead of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in April, the Buddies are encouraging fans between the ages of 50 and 74 to take the test.

Although almost 4000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in Scotland, only just over half (50.7%) of those who are eligible to ­participate in the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme actually do the test.

Nine out of 10 people survive bowel cancer if it's detected early and the best way to check for the hidden signs of bowel cancer is through screening.

Brian Caldwell, chief ­executive of St Mirren FC, said: "It's shocking to hear that bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland but if it's found at an early stage, the disease is treatable.

"We need to break down some of the taboos around bowel cancer.

"We know it can be embarrassing to talk about but we want to urge our supporters and local people who are over 50 to take the bowel cancer screening test as soon as they receive it through the post."

For information on the screening programme, contact the Scottish Bowel Screening helpline on 0800 0121 833 or visit