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Bowel cancer screening

Why is bowel cancer screening important?

There are around 42,900 new bowel cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s nearly 120 every day. Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer, in the UK.

We want to help you to avoid this especially if there is bowel cancer in the family or you have had bowel conditions, such as polyps in the past.

As with all cancers, if bowel cancer is detected at an early stage, before symptoms appear, treatment is more likely to be successful and there’s a better chance of survival.

To detect bowel cancer at an early stage, the NHS offers a Bowel Cancer Screening Programme to adults registered with a GP in England. Taking part in bowel screening reduces your risk of dying from bowel cancer by at least 25%.

 

You will receive a test kit

All men and women aged 60-74 who are registered with a GP are invited to carry out a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) at home. In Dudley, we are also inviting those aged 56 and 58, and from April 2024 will be inviting those aged 54.

A home test kit is sent every two years by post. A sample is collected using the kit and sent back with a prepaid postal mailer. The test checks for the presence of blood in a poo sample, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

If you have lost or discarded your kit and want to be screened a further kit can be sent to you. Call the free helpline on 0800 707 60 60 to order another kit. You may also request further kits every 2 years after the age of 74 if you wish, using this helpline.

 

Find out how to complete the kit

More information on NHS Bowel Cancer screening