Home screening kit could save your life

Completing a home screening kit could help save your life by catching bowel cancer in its tracks.

That was certainly the case for Tom Boyd-Smith from Norton.

Last year Tom, 69, was sent a test kit (a faecal occult blood test) in the post and completed it.

He was invited in for an appointment at the Trust for further tests.

A tumour had been found and soon after he was booked in for keyhole surgery, having the tumour successfully removed with no need for any further treatment.

He said: “When you’re told you have cancer your mind rushes ahead. You think of operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, losing your hair and everything else.

“But when I had my appointment with the consultant it was a pleasant surprise. I was told the test kit had helped catch the issue early and meant I had a much better scenario.

“The treatment was excellent. The screening team were fantastic, explaining everything to me.

“I am clearly a huge advocate of the screening test. It really is so important people complete it. God bless the NHS.”

All men and women aged 60 to 74 who are registered with a GP are automatically sent a bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years.

People aged 55 are now also invited to have their lower bowel checked for signs of pre-cancer. The test, which takes five to 10 minutes, is called bowel scope screening, or flexible sigmoidoscopy. If pre-cancerous growths called polyps are found, they can usually be removed during the test.

The bowel screening service is developing a refreshed web page – to view it visit https://www.nth.nhs.uk/services/bowel-cancer-screening/

To find out what to expect during an appointment by visiting https://www.nth.nhs.uk/services/bowel-cancer-screening/what-to-expect


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