Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK. Most people diagnosed with bowel cancer are over 60 years old. The NHS runs a national Bowel Cancer Screening Programme for patients aged 60 years old and over. Screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage, in people with no symptoms, when treatment is more likely to be effective. If you are over 60 and have received a testing kit in the post, we strongly recommend you complete it and return it as per the instructions in the pack.
If you have any questions, or would like more information about screening for bowel cancer you can contact the Programme Hub on Freephone 0800 707 60 60. However, if you have any specific concerns, or are worried about bowel symptoms, and would prefer to speak to someone at this Practice in confidence, please feel free to contact us.
It is also very important that you are aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer. The most common symptoms to look out for are:
- a persistent change in bowel habit, especially going to the toilet more often or diarrhoea
- bleeding from the back passage without any obvious reason or blood in your bowel motions
- abdominal pain, especially if it is severe
- a lump in your abdomen
Most of these symptoms will not be cancer. However, if you have experienced one or more of these symptoms for more than four weeks you should contact us as soon as possible.