When you reach the age of 50 in Scotland as well as a few birthday cards that may land on your door mat there will also be a request for a very personal sample from yourself.
The Bowel Cancer Screening tests have been an extremely successful way to detect early signs of this disease. In the privacy of your own toilet you can prepare samples over 3 days to be sent in for testing. The procedure is not the most pleasant you will ever engage in but then neither is bowel cancer.
A new test has been announced where you only need to give one sample. Half a million people take part in the screening each year. With around 4,000 people getting bowel cancer every year it is the third most common cancer in Scotland . It is hoped this will encourage more people to take part in the programme. The test is being offered to all men and women in Scotland aged 50 to 74, every two years.
Claire Donaghy, Head of Scotland at Bowel Cancer UK, said:
“This is an important and crucial step forward in saving more lives from bowel cancer.
“Screening remains one of the most effective ways of detecting bowel cancer in its earliest stages.”
Gregor McNie, Cancer Research UK’s senior public affairs manager in Scotland, said:
“It’s great news that FIT [Faecal Immunochemical Test] bowel screening is being rolled out in Scotland. The kit is easier for people to use and research shows that it significantly increases participation in bowel screening in groups which tend to have lower uptake rates, for example men and those who live in poorer communities.
Shona Robison, Health Secretary in the Scottish Government said:
“Early diagnosis is crucial to saving lives. More than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully, if diagnosed early.
“This new test will help us to better treat bowel cancer, Scotland’s second largest cancer killer with 1600 deaths every year.
For more information click on the link: Introduction to bowel screening.
I call them Pooh-sticks. Geddit?