Bowel cancer screening
Currently, everyone between the ages of 60 and 69 is offered bowel cancer screening every two years, and the screening programme is currently being extended in England to those aged 70 to 75.
Screening is carried out by taking a small stool sample and testing it for the presence of blood (faecal occult blood test).
In addition, an extra screening test is being introduced over the next three years for all people at age 55. This test involves a camera examination of the lower bowel called a flexible sigmoidoscopy.
Screening plays an important part in the fight against bowel cancer because the earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance it can be cured completely.
Bowel cancer affects 1 in 20 people in the UK during their lifetime.
It is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 16,000 people dying from it each year.
We know that regular bowel screening reduces the risk of dying from bowel cancer- taking part reduces your chance of dying from bowel cancer.
80% of people who develop bowel cancer are 60 years of age or older.
Bowel screening can also detect polyps that may develop into cancer.
Removal of the polyps can reduce the chances of developing bowel cancer.
Further information can be obtained at: