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About Screening

What does the screening test look for?

  • The screening test looks for hidden blood in your poo.
  • Blood in your poo can be a sign of bowel cancer or of other changes such as polyps (small growths).
  • Most polyps are harmless but some can lead to bowel cancer. Most polyps can be easily removed.
  • Sometimes the blood can be there because a polyp has bled.
  • There may also be other reasons for the blood, such as haemorrhoids (piles) or small tears in the bowel.
  • The test kit does not tell you if you have bowel cancer. The results will tell you if you need further tests such as a colonoscopy (a camera inserted into your bottom).

What you need to know

  • Taking part in bowel screening is your choice.
  •  Bowel screening is not 100% accurate.
  • Screening will miss some cancers and some cancers cannot be cured.

What happens next?

  • We will post your results within two weeks.
  • Most people will have a result that does not need further tests.
  • If we find blood in your sample, we will refer you for an assessment with a screening nurse.
  • We will offer you further tests which may include a colonoscopy.