Residents of central Newfoundland will now have better access to colon cancer screening.

On Thursday, the provincial government announced that 2,000 home test kits will be available to residents of Grand Falls-Windsor and surrounding area.

The user-friendly kits can be ordered through the Provincial Colon Cancer Screening Program at Eastern Health.

Once test samples are analyzed, patients with a positive test result are contacted for a follow-up colonoscopy. Those with a negative result are rescreened in two years.

Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the highest incidences of colon cancer in the country. 

Jerry McGrath is the screening program's medical director. He said survival rates are low here, because the cancer is not discovered early enough.

"We see about a 50 per cent higher death rate here in Newfoundland, and a lot of that comes back to the fact that colon cancer is diagnosed too late in this province."

The program is an extension of one that launched in Corner Brook in 2012 and brings government closer to a province-wide screening program by 2015.