Bowel Cancer Awareness
About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime. It is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 16,000 people dying from it each year.
Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms), when treatment is more likely to be effective.
The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme offers screening every two years to all men and women aged 60 to 74. Those aged 75 and over can request a kit by ringing 0800 707 6060.
In 2019 a new test will be introduced called the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) which replaces the previous faecal occult blood (FOB) test. The FIT test is easier to use as it only requires one stool sample.
For more information go to the Cancer Research website
In addition to the above national programme, patients registered with the surgery will now be invited to participate in a new ‘Bowel Scope Screening’ test and will be offered a one off appointment for a flexible Sigmoidoscopy or “Bowel Scope” test. Participants will be invited for screening around 2 months after their 55th birthday.The aim is to find any small growths or ‘polyps’ which may develop into bowel cancer if left untreated. For every 300 people screened, it stops 2 from getting bowel cancer and saves 1 life from bowel cancer.
Mr Mike Thompson, retired Colorectal Consultant from Portsmouth Hospitals, has been working with the Bowel Cancer Information charity to develop a new website aimed at patients with suspected bowel cancer symptoms. The website is simple to use and follows a symptom checker format with links to further information including videos and patient stories.