bowel cancer screening uk

Why You Should Check Your Poo

How common is bowel cancer and why should we screen for it? 

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. However, with early detection and treatment, the survival rate for colorectal cancer is high. This is why regular screening is so important. Every month, the NHS dispatches over 500,000 complimentary Faecal Immunochemical Test kits (FIT) to individuals for private use in their own homes.

NHS bowel cancer screening

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Program is a national initiative in the United Kingdom aimed at detecting bowel cancer at an early stage. The program provides regular screening for individuals who are eligible, typically aged between 60 and 74. However, the age range may vary slightly depending on the specific nation within the and has recently started to extended to those over 56 in some areas in UK.

Here are key features of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Program:

  1. Home Test Kit: Eligible individuals receive a home test kit called a faecal immunochemical test (FIT test for short a type of faecal occult blood test ) through the mail. The test kit includes instructions on how to collect a small sample of stool.
  2. Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBt): The collected stool sample is then tested for the presence of occult (hidden) blood, which can be an early sign of bowel cancer or pre-cancerous polyps.
  3. Repeat Screening: Individuals are usually invited to participate in bowel cancer screening with an FOB test every two years.
  4. Further Investigation: If blood is detected in the stool sample, individuals are referred for further investigation, typically a colonoscopy, to examine the bowel and identify any abnormalities.
  5. Early Detection and Treatment: The primary goal of the program is to detect bowel cancer at an early, more treatable stage, and to identify and remove precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer.

If you are over 74, you can ask for a bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years by calling the free NHS helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

It's important to note that programs and guidelines may evolve, so for the most up-to-date information on the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Program, it is recommended to check the official NHS website.

If you are not eligible for a free bowel cancer screening NHS Faecal Occult Blood Test then you can buy a home bowel cancer screening FOB test kit here. If you have symptoms suggesting bowel disease you should consult with your doctor or healthcare provider, even if your bowel cancer screening FOB test result is normal.

The "Test Your Poo" campaign

The "Test Your Poo" campaign was a public health initiative in February 2023 aimed at raising awareness about the importance of screening for colorectal cancer. The campaign emphasised the importance of regular fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) as a simple and effective way to detect early signs of colorectal cancer.

The "Test Your Poo" campaign in the UK encouraged people to take an active role in their health by getting screened for colorectal cancer. The campaign provides information on how to perform an FOBT at home and emphasised the importance of following up with a healthcare provider if a positive result is obtained.

The campaign also addressed common misconceptions about colorectal cancer screening. For example, many people are hesitant to get screened because they are afraid of the discomfort associated with colonoscopies. However, a faecal occult blood test, FOBT for short, is a non-invasive test that can be done at home, and it is an effective way to detect early signs of colorectal cancer.

The "Test Your Poo" campaign used a variety of media to reach its target audience, including television commercials, print ads, and social media. The campaign also partners with healthcare providers and community organisations to provide educational materials and support for those who are getting screened for the first time.

The "Test Your Poo" campaign is an important initiative that helped to raise awareness about the importance of regular colorectal cancer screening. By encouraging people to take an active role in their health, the campaign should help to reduce the incidence and mortality of this deadly disease.

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