NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Campaign
We are supporting the new NHS England Bowel Cancer Screening Campaign, which encourages people aged 56 to 74 who are sent the NHS bowel cancer screening home test kit, to complete and return it, in order to help catch bowel cancer earlier. The messaging of the campaign is especially important as Bowel Cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and detecting it at the earliest stage makes you up to nine times more likely to be successfully treated.
One third of people who were sent an NHS bowel cancer screening test in England last year did not complete it, even though a survey shows 98% of those eligible for the test agree that it is important.
What is the screening test?
If you are in the eligible age bracket, you will be sent a home test kit called a faecal immunochemical test (FIT). You will use the instructions with the test to collect a small stool sample and then send it off to a lab. The sample will then be checked for tiny amounts of blood.
Blood can be a sign of polyps or bowel cancer. Polyps are growths in the bowel, and they are not cancer but can turn into cancer over time. If the test does discover anything unusual in your sample, you may be asked to go to hospital for further tests to confirm or rule cancer out.
Your test result should be posted to you within 2 weeks of sending off your kit. There will be 2 types of results:
No further tests needed.
Further tests needed.
If you have a type 1 result, where there are no further tests needed, this means there was no blood found in your stool sample. You will not need to do anything further, but you will be invited to carry out another screening test in 2 years (if you are still under the age of 75 by then). About 98 in 100 people do not need further tests.
If you have a type 2 result this means blood was found in your sample, but this does not necessarily mean you have bowel cancer. You will be offered an appointment to book in for a colonoscopy to look more closely at the cause.
Please click here to watch the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening campaign advert with BSL. Your next poo could save your life. Just a tiny sample detects signs of cancer before you notice anything wrong. If you’re sent a bowel cancer screening kit, put it by the loo. Don't put it off.
We hope that you have found this article informative and helpful. If you are looking for more information on bowel cancer screening, or information on bowel cancer, please take a look at the links below.