A study to find out why some bowel screening test results show blood when there is no cancer

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We know that this is an especially worrying time for people with cancer and their family and friends. We have separate information about coronavirus and cancer. Please read that information alongside this page. We will update that information as guidance changes.

Read about coronavirus and cancer

Cancer type:

Bowel (colorectal) cancer





This study looked at why some people’s bowel screening test results show blood in the stool when they don’t have bowel cancer. 

At the time of this study, everyone in England between the ages of 60 and 69 received an invitation to take part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. Along with a letter they received a kit to collect a tiny amount of stool (faeces). 

The bowel screening test involves testing stool (poo) for blood. If the results show that there is blood in the sample, you have a further bowel test called a colonoscopy Open a glossary item to check for cancer. But most people who have a colonoscopy don’t have bowel cancer.

The researchers wanted to understand more about why this was so.

Summary of results

There are no results for this study. Since the study started better information from standard follow up of people taking part in bowel screening is now available. The researchers are now studying this.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Julietta Patnick 

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Oxford

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Alan took part in a clinical trial for bowel cancer patients

A picture of ALan

“I think it’s essential that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think