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DON’T BE EMBARRASSED – GET CHECKED - The facts about Bowel Screening Posted on 11 Feb 2014

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

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


If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the Bowel Screening Programme Scotland on 0800 0121 833.

Your Neighbourhood Professionals. Just a Click Away! Maureen Leggat
Loan Green Surgery - Loan Green Surgery, The Loan, Mauchline, KA5 6AJ
  • Telephone 01290 456001
The Clinic - Institute Avenue, Catrine, KA5 6RU
  • Telephone 01290 456001
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Your Neighbourhood Professionals. Just a Click Away! Maureen Leggat
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