Bowel Screening

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening tests check to see if you could have bowel cancer. It is available to everyone aged 60 or over and 56 year olds.

You use a home test kit, called a faecal immunochemical test (FIT), to collect a small sample of poo and send it to a lab. This is checked for tiny amounts of blood.

If the test finds anything unusual, you might be asked to have further tests to confirm or rule out cancer.

Always see a GP if you have symptoms of bowel cancer at any age, even if you have recently completed a NHS bowel cancer screening test kit – do not wait to have a screening test.

How to get a home test kit

Everyone aged 60 to 74 who is registered with a GP and lives in England is automatically sent a bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years. The programme includes 56 year olds.

If you’re 75 or over, you can ask for a kit every 2 years by phoning the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

If you’re worried about a family history of bowel cancer or have any symptoms, speak to a GP for advice.

How to use the home test kit

The screening kit used in England is the faecal immunochemical test kit – known as the FIT kit.

You collect a small sample of poo on a small plastic stick and put it into the sample bottle and post it to a lab for testing. There are instructions that come with the kit.

You can also find bowel cancer screening kit instructions on GOV.UK

Languages available for this information are provided in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu

Click the link below for a short video on how to use the FIT kit

Using your bowel cancer screening kit video

Subtitles are available in English, as well as Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Farsi, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu. A British Sign Language version is also available.

Bowel Screening – Learning Disability Resources:

Bowel Screening leaflet for People with Learning Disabilities

Macmillan cancer support

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