Call for people to complete and return bowel cancer screening kits

People in South Leeds who have been sent an NHS bowel cancer screening home test kit are being urged to complete the test.

Dr Faisel Baig

GP and the NHS region’s Medical Director for Primary Care Dr Faisel Baig says just a tiny sample detects signs of cancer before you notice anything wrong.

“Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and detecting it at the earliest stage makes you up to nine times more likely to be successfully treated,” Dr Baig said.

“The test is simple to complete and can be done in the privacy of your own bathroom. Anyone aged 60 to 74 in England, who is registered with a GP practice will be sent a test in the post automatically, every two years. NHS England is also extending this to include all 50- to 59-year-olds by 2025.”

The test works by checking for tiny traces of blood, which may not be visible to the naked eye. If something is found, you will be invited to have further tests, usually at a hospital. Blood in your poo is one of the signs of bowel cancer, but does not always mean cancer. Instead, it could be a sign of piles or polyps (growths in the bowel).

However, NHS figures show almost one third of people who were sent an NHS bowel cancer screening test in England last year did not go on to complete it – despite a new survey of 1,023 respondents showing that 98% of those eligible for the test agree the test is important.

Similarly, in Yorkshire and the Humber 97% of 56- to 74-year-olds surveyed said they thought the bowel cancer screening test was important, and 78% said they would talk to their GP if they had any concerns about doing a screening test, with 3 in 10 saying they would speak to a family member.

Dr Baig added:

“The NHS bowel cancer screening testing kit can save your life. If you’re sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit, put it by the loo. Don’t put it off.”

Visit for more information.

In support of NHS England’s bowel cancer screening campaign, a new film sees ex-Groundforce co-hosts Alan Titchmarsh and Tommy Walsh encouraging anyone who is sent a bowel cancer screening kit to complete it:


This post is based on a press release issued by NHS North East & Yorkshire


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