70 Years of the NHS NHS Kingston

Bowel cancer screening

Who is it for?

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP) currently offers screening every two years to men and women aged between 60 and 69 who are registered with a GP. As of April 2010, the bowel cancer screening programme will also be offered to men and women up to 75 years of age who are registered with a GP.

In Kingston we also encourage people over 74 years to access bowel cancer screening.

What is the benefit?

The aim of the programme is to cut bowel cancer deaths in this age group by 16%, by spotting the disease at an early stage.

How do I access this service?

GPs are not directly involved in the delivery of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. Instead, when eligible patients are due to be screened they will be sent a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the post which they can complete and return themselves from home. GPs will be notified when their patients are invited for bowel cancer screening. They will also receive a copy of the results letters sent to their patients.

What happens then?

The FOBT does not diagnose bowel cancer, but the results will tell you whether you need an examination of your bowel (a colonoscopy). About two in every 100 people will have an abnormal result and will then be referred to the sector screening centre at St George’s Hospital for assessment by a Specialist Screening Practitioner and endoscopic investigation to see if there is a problem that might need treatment.

A colonoscopy is an investigation that involves looking directly at the lining of your large bowel. About five in ten people who have a colonoscopy will have a normal result (they do not have cancer or polyps). About four in ten will be found to have a polyp, which if removed may prevent cancer developing. About one in ten people will be found to have cancer when they have a colonoscopy.  The earlier a cancer is identified, the more successful the treatment is likely to be.

Contact details & more information

If you would like to find out more, please contact freephone 0800 707 6060 or visit the NHS Bowel cancer screening website: www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk

Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group, 2nd floor, Thames House,
180 High Street, Teddington, TW11 8HU
Tel: 020 39419900
Email: kingstonccg.communications@swlondon.nhs.uk

NHS 111 NHS Choices