Nine in ten people think cancer screening is "almost always a good idea," despite lower take up rates, a survey for Cancer Research UK has found.
Of the 1,900 people aged 50-80 surveyed 59% thought it was irresponsible not to take part in cancer screening.
Even in cases where a specific cancer was being screened for, 49% would still want to be screened for that cancer.
However 49% were unaware that some cancers are slow growing and unlikely to cause problems during a patient's lifetime.
In these cases, including 4,000 breast cancer cases a year according to an independent review, 45% of those asked said they would still want screening.
Currently in the UK, 58% of people take up bowel screening, 8% take up cervical screening and 77% take up breast screening.
Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: "This research shows that people feel positive about screening for cancer.
But it's vital that the benefits and harms of screening options are clearly explained to people, so they can make a fully informed choice."
Dr Jo Waller, lead researcher at Cancer Research UK, said: "It's great that people are enthusiastic about cancer screening, and if people are keen to be screened, we need to minimise any barriers.
"But it's also important to remember that taking part in screening is an individual choice, and if someone decides that screening is not for them after considering the benefits and harms then that choice should be respected."