About bowel screening
- Everyone aged 50-74 is invited to take part every 2 years
- If you are 75 and over you can opt to continue the screening programme every 2 years
Why do we screen?
- The screening programme prevents 150 deaths from bowel cancer per year in Scotland
- Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland. The earlier it is diagnosed the better the chance of treatment being successful
- The early signs are subtle and difficult for even the doctor to detect
How do I do the test?
- A kit is sent to your home. This test looks for hidden blood in your poo.
- It takes 3 trips to the toilet to complete
- You must take the test kit, a pen (to write the date), 2 of the cardboard sticks and something to collect your poo in – e.g. folded kitchen roll or a disposable
- Peel back the flap on the first test, use one of the sticks to take a small sample of poo, about the size of a pea, spread the sample on the first window,
repeat this with a second stick in the second window
- Close the flap and tuck it under the red tab
- Do not flush the sticks down the toilet
- The second and third samples must be taken over a 10 day period and the kit should not be stored in direct sunlight
- Then simply post the kit back in the free return envelope and await the results in the post
The results – what do they mean?
A negative result means that no blood was found in your poo and you will be sent another test in 2 years. Meantime, if you develop any symptoms you must see your GP.
A positive result may either result in a further test being sent to you, or you being referred to the hospital for a colonoscopy.
For more information about this contact the Bowel Screening Centre helpline on 0800 0121 833 or visit www.nhsinform.co.uk/screening/bowel
Only 10 in 500 tests are positive and only 1 out of that 10 people will have cancer
What symptoms should I report to my doctor?
- Repeated bleeding from your bottom or blood in your poo
- Change in your bowel habit that continues every day for 6 weeks without going back to normal
- Watery poo, on its own or with constipation
- Severe stomach pains that will not go away, especially after eating
- Recent weight loss without trying
- People say you look pale and you feel tired a lot
DON’T BE EMBARRASSED – GET CHECKED!
If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the Bowel Screening Programme Scotland on 0800 0121 833.