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Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel cancer screening has become much more widespread since the introduction of a national screening programme in 2006 and most 60-70 year olds will have received an invitation to participate in the national programme. The programme involves sending in a stool sample and if a positive sample is detected, the individual is advised to attend an appointment to have a colonoscopy.

Bowel cancer is the second most common form of cancer and most cases start as small growths, known as polyps, in the lining in the colon. Symptoms to look out for include bleeding from the back passage, a change in bowel habit, weakness and tiredness caused by anaemia and abdominal pain. If polyps are detected during a colonoscopy, they can usually be removed and this helps to prevent the condition from becoming more advanced. Since the national screening programme was introduced, the number of bowel cancer deaths has decreased.

Bowel cancer screening is usually targeted at older people; however, if you are worried about bowel cancer or you have family history or symptoms associated with bowel cancer, do not hesitate to organise a consultation with Dr Bansi.