Bowel cancer screening for over 60s

Bowel cancer screening for over 60s saves lives by finding cancer early. Even if you feel healthy you should take a test – which can be done at home, in private.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer to be diagnosed in the UK – with more than 40,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year in the UK.

It is also called colorectal cancer and the early symptoms can be difficult to spot, which is why regular screening is so important for people with an increased risk of it.

This type of cancer commonly grows from polyps – which are non-cancerous growths that can cause small amounts of blood to appear in your poo, which might otherwise go unnoticed because you may not be able to see them.

The best way to check for any blood in your poo is to do the bowel cancer screening test, also known as FIT, which is sent to you in the post with full instructions.

The NHS offers bowel cancer screening checks free of charge to everyone over 60 years old. If you are between 60 and 75 you will automatically be sent a test kit in the post every two years. If you are over 75, you can ask your GP to continue receiving the test or request one by phoning the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

The test involves collecting a small amount of poo and sending it in a test bottle for checking. You catch a piece of poo in a container or toilet paper and use the test’s scrape stick to collect a small sample to put in the bottle and send off in the post. You do it at home and it is hygienic.

If the test finds anything unusual, you might be asked to have further tests to confirm or rule out cancer. Most people’s screening result shows they do not need any more tests.

Learn more about bowel screening and how to carry out the test on the Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance YouTube channel.

Content provided by One Liverpool, a partnership of local health and care organisations working together to support a healthier, happier and fairer Liverpool for all.

Published on Thu, 23 Sep 2021 15:04:42 GMT
Modified on Thu, 23 Sep 2021 15:04:42 GMT