Be Clear On Cancer
How to do your bowel screening test
If my patients feel apprehensive about completing the bowel screening test, I remind them that it’s simple to do, it can detect cancer early and you have the benefit of completing it in the comfort of your own home.
Dr Stephen Gaduzo, GP
I had no symptoms when I received the bowel cancer screening test, but when I saw it was from the NHS, I thought it was important to do. I was a bit shocked when I was diagnosed, but thankfully my cancer was found early. I had surgery a month later and needed no further treatment. I’m still living life to the full.
Carol Ratcliffe, bowel cancer survivor
What happens after I receive my results?
Most people have normal results. This doesn't completely rule out cancer. So it is important to know your own body and what is normal for you. See your GP if you have changes that don't go away.
This means there was a slight suggestion of blood in the sample. If this happens, the programme will send you another testing kit.
Around 2 out of every 100 (2%) have an abnormal result. Most people with an abnormal result do not have cancer. The screening programme may ask you to do the test again or you'll have an appointment to see a specialist nurse at a bowel cancer screening centre. The nurse will talk to you about having a test to look at the inside of your large bowel. This is called a colonoscopy.
It’s your choice
You have a choice whether or not to do bowel cancer screening, so please read the ‘Bowel Cancer Screening: The Facts’ booklet, which you’ll be sent with your test kit, to help you decide.