Everyone aged 60 to 74 years who is registered with a GP and lives in England is automatically sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years.
The programme is expanding so that everyone aged 50 to 59 years will be eligible for screening. This is happening gradually over 4 years and started in April 2021 with 56 year olds.
Why should you get tested for bowel screening?
Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK. Most people diagnosed with it are over the age of 60.
- age – almost 9 in 10 people with bowel cancer are aged 60 or over
- diet – a diet high in red or processed meats and low in fibre can increase your risk
- weight – bowel cancer is more common in overweight or obese people
- exercise – being inactive increases your risk of getting bowel cancer
- alcohol – drinking alcohol might increase your risk of getting bowel cancer
- smoking – smoking may increase your chances of getting bowel cancer
- family history – having a close relative (mother or father, brother or sister) who developed bowel cancer under the age of 50 puts you at a greater lifetime risk of developing the condition; screening is offered to people in this situation, and you should discuss this with a GP.
Please call the surgery if you are eligible for bowel screening and have not received an invitation.