Are you aged between 60 -74?
If so make sure you know about the importance of bowel screening.
To order a bowel screening kit please click here or call 0800 707 6060
What is bowel screening?
Bowel Cancer screening involves testing people for signs that could mean a cancer is developing.
Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage when treatment is more likely to work. It can also sometimes prevent bowel cancer from developing in the first place.
Bowel screening currently uses Faecal Occult Blood Testing, also called FOBT or FOB. This means looking for hidden traces of blood in stool or faeces. You test for tiny traces of blood that you might not be able to see. You do the test in your own home, using a testing kit.
When will I receive my test kit and what does it look like?
The screening programmes send a bowel cancer testing kit (FOB testing) every 2 years to people aged between 60 and 74. You need to be registered with a GP to get your screening invitation.
People aged over 74 or people who have not received a kit in the last two years and are aged between 60-74 can request a screening kit by contacting the bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 6060 or click here.
How do I complete the test kit?
What happens when I get my result?
You usually get the results of your tests 2 weeks later. Most people have a normal result. This doesn’t completely rule out cancer. So, it is important to get to know your body and what is normal for you.
An unclear result after an FOB test
Some people have an unclear result. This means there was a slight suggestion of blood in the sample. If this happens, the programme will send you another kit and ask you to do the test again. This is because the result could have been caused by other medical conditions.
An abnormal result
The screening programme may ask you to do the test again. Or you may have an appointment to see a specialist nurse at a bowel screening centre. The nurse will talk to you about having a test to look at the inside of your bowel. This is called a colonoscopy.
Of those having a colonoscopy, around
- half (50%) do not have cancer or polyps
- 4 in 10 people (40%) have a polyp
- 1 in 10 people (10%) have cancer
See your GP if you have any unusual changes that don’t go away, such as:
- Bleeding from the back passage (rectum) or blood in your stool
- A change in normal bowel habits
- A lump that your doctor can feel in your back passage or abdomen (more commonly on the right side)
- A feeling of needing to strain in your back passage (as if you need to pass a bowel motion), even after opening your bowels
- Losing weight
- Pain in your abdomen or back passage
- A lower than normal level of red blood cells (anaemia)
For more information please visit
Alternatively to order a testing kit please call – 0800 707 6060