Bowel Cancer Test

fobBowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK. As with all cancers, early detection is the key to improving the survival rate. Small amounts of blood in your faeces (stools) can be a sign of bowel cancer. These small amounts of blood are not visible to the naked eye. Testing for them is called Faecal Occult Blood testing or FOB for short.

We provide a home testing kit. You collect small samples of your faeces. You wipe the sample on a special card, which you then send for testing in a hygienically sealed, prepaid envelope. There are detailed instructions with each kit. The test is simple and easy to do. You get the results of your test in the post within 2 weeks.

The NHS provides this test to people between the age of 60 – 74 every 2 years. Bowel cancer can occur at any age but becomes more frequent with age.  In Scotland, the bowel cancer screening programme runs from 50 to 74.  The rate of diagnosed cases of bowel cancer for men at 45 is 0.024% and for women is 0.020%. The number of people diagnosed with Bowel cancer roughly double every 5 years up to 60.

For these reasons, we believe this test makes sense for men and women over the age of 45

Anyone having this test should be aware that there can be other causes of blood in faeces and therefore a positive result requires further investigation (typically a colonoscopy) to determine whether the blood is the result of bowel cancer.

Related information

More information about Bowel Cancer screening: screening/Pages/Introduction.aspx