How to do the bowel cancer screening test - Transcript | Cancer Research UK
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How to do the bowel cancer screening test - Transcript

At the age of 61 Jim is a happy man. Jim’s whistling because he’s just done his bowel cancer screening test.

Oh look, Jim’s just popped a screening kit through Bill’s door. Thanks, Jim.

You see, that kit might just catch the early signs of bowel cancer and save Bill’s life.

The tricky bit with these kits is getting a few samples of your poo onto the test card.

Bill will need to do his business on three separate days and then scoop off a few samples for the doctors to take a look at.

If there’s any blood in it it’s a sign of a number of conditions, one of which could be cancer.

To do it right Bill will need to find a way of collecting his poo without it getting wet. There are lots of different ways.

Perhaps he could cover his hand with a plastic bag or glove and catch it or he could find an old container that fits neatly into the toilet. Just keep looking until you find the right one.

That one, Bill. A perfect fit. And toilet paper, even better. And the next bit was actually quite easy.

Then using one of the sticks from the kit Bill scooped up a bit of poo and smeared it on the test card and then using a different stick one more blob from a different bit of poo for the second sample. A perfect specimen there.

The rest of the poo was flushed away, the sticks went in the bin and that was that. Except of course for the two other numbers.

To get a really good sample he had to repeat the process two more times. In fact he was becoming a bit of an expert by the end. Nice work, Bill!

The kit had to back at the lab for testing within two weeks of the date of his first sample. So it was all done in ten days to allow plenty of time to post it back and he’ll get his results within two weeks.

If there’s blood in the sample it could be a number of things not just the early signs of cancer. A letter will explain the results and what Bill needs to do next.

So if you’re ready, it’s time to get started.

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Updated: 11 August 2016