Bowel cancer screening is offered every 2 years to men and women aged 60 to 74. People older than this can ask for a screening kit every 2 years by calling the free helpline on 0800 707 60 60.
A new test kit called the faecal immunochemical test (FIT) was introduced in England in June 2019. This kit is now sent with all invitations for bowel cancer screening.
People eligible for bowel cancer screening get an invitation letter, along with an information leaflet explaining screening and its possible benefits and risks.
About a week later, the programme sends a FIT kit with instructions on how to use it at home. Results are sent out 2 weeks after the laboratory receives the completed kit.
The screening programme offers individuals with an abnormal screening result a colonoscopy.
Most people have a normal result, which means that no blood was found in the sample. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have or won’t get bowel cancer so you should still see your GP if you have any symptoms. You will receive another test in two years.
If the result isn’t clear, you may need to do the test again.
If the test finds blood in your sample, you will be invited to a local screening centre to talk about your results. This doesn’t mean that you have cancer. The bleeding could be caused by a non-cancerous growth or another health problem. You will be offered more tests, such as a colonoscopy, to find out what is causing the bleeding.
The Health Promotion Team in Sunderland can help you to complete this kit if you need any support – ask your GP for details.
Please click below for an easy read leaflet and a video.