Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel Cancer Screening - call Bowel Cancer Screening Helpline on 0800 707 60 60

The bowel cancer screening programme offers screening every two years to all men and women aged 60 to 74.


What does it involve?

A screening kit will be sent through the post to all men and women aged 60 to 74 every two years to complete. It involves sending a sample of your poo to the hospital where it will be analysed for any traces of blood. The test does not diagnose bowel cancer, but the results will indicate whether you need any further investigations.

Why am I being asked to take part?

Bowel cancer is a common type of cancer in both men and women. About 1 in 20 people will get it during their lifetime. Screening can help detect bowel cancer at an early stage when it is easier to treat. (NHS)

 How do I complete the test?

You will be sent a test kit in the post. With this kit, you collect 1 sample of poo in a small plastic sample bottle and post it back to a laboratory for testing.

There are instructions with the kit. You can also read the kit instructions online here:

There are also translated videos in many languages that can instruct you how to complete the tests here:

(Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu. A British Sign Language version is also available)

What happens to my results?

The results are normally made available to you two weeks after you have posted your kit back. It may be either:

    • Normal – About 98% of people get a normal result and no further action is required

    • Abnormal – About 2% of people get an abnormal result, meaning that blood was found in your poo. It does not mean you have bowel cancer, as other things can cause this, but you may be offered further investigations to check, such as a colonoscopy.

Where can I find out more?

The NHS bowel screening website has lots of information and FAQ section:

You can call the free Bowel Cancer Screening Helpline to book your test or get your results on 0800 707 60 60.

Or call The Bowel Cancer Screening Office at Homerton university Hospital for more information on 020 8510 7218.

Click here for an easy read guide to screening.


What if I don’t want to take part?

The screening programme is completely optional and up to the individual to decide whether to take part.

If you do not want to be invited for bowel cancer screening or want to discuss the decision further, you can call the free Bowel Cancer Screening Helpline on 0800 707 60 60 to stop receiving the kit every two years.



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