Bowel Cancer Screening

All men and women aged 60 to 74 who are registered with a GP in England are automatically sent a bowel cancer screening kit every two years.

If you’re 75 or over, you can ask for a kit every two years by phoning the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

The Screening initiative aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms.

The screening is via a home test called a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), which looks for hidden blood in stool.  There are clear instructions sent with the kit, and the process is easy to do. The test does not diagnose bowel cancer, but the results will give an indication as to whether the patient is in need of further examination, this is called a colonoscopy.

Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps, which are abnormal growths that aren’t cancerous but may become so over time. They can be removed during a colonoscopy, potentially preventing patients going on to develop bowel cancer.

Please remember you are not wasting anyone’s time by getting checked out. If it isn’t serious, you’ll put your mind at rest. If it’s bowel cancer, early detection can make all the difference as treatment is likely to be more effective.

For more information on bowel cancer screening please click on the following websites:

If a member of your family or someone you care for has a learning disability, has difficulties with written English or is unable to read English please click on the following easy guide links that you can refer to:

Bowel Cancer Screening Programme FIT easy read guide

Beyond Words easy guide to bowel screening picture book

Short animation on how to use the FIT kit   this is available with subtitles and in British Sign Language. Subtitled versions are provided in English, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Farsi, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu.

GOV.UK bowel cancer screening helping you decide Link to leaflets and animation videos in English and in different languages

CRUK How to do the FIT bowel cancer screening test  Youtube video 

If you have any questions or not sure whether you should use the kit, for example if you have had surgery and have an artificial opening that allows poo from the bowel to pass (a stoma) then please call the free helpline on 0800 707 60 60 for advice.

I’m trans or non-binary, does this affect my cancer screening?

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