Bowel Screening Information

Why it’s offered

Bowel cancer is a common type of cancer in both men and women. About 1 in 20 people will get it during their lifetime.

Screening can help detect bowel cancer at an early stage, when it’s easier to treat. It can also be used to help check for and remove small growths in the bowel called polyps, which can turn into cancer over time.

When it’s offered

NHS bowel cancer screening is only offered to people aged 55 or over, as this is when you’re more likely to get bowel cancer:

  • if you’re 60 to 74, you’ll automatically be invited to do a home testing kit every 2 years
  • if you’re 75 or over, you can ask for a home testing kit every 2 years by calling the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60

You should continue to be aware of any bowel symptoms such as:-

  • A persistent change in bowel habit, especially going to the toilet more often or diarrhoea for several weeks
  • Bleeding from the back passage without any obvious reasons
  • Abdominal pain, especially if it is severe
  • A lump in your abdomen

Please remember that these symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have bowel cancer but if you have one or more of these symptoms you should see your GP.

Should you no longer have the test kit and now wish to take part, you can call the screening free-phone number0800 707 6060 and ask for another kit.