We know that it can be embarrassing for people to talk about their bowels. The Tees screening programme is here to help patients to access screening in the privacy of their own home.
If you are registered with a GP and aged 60 to 74, you will receive a simple test kit. The age people are being invited is changing to include those aged 50 to 59, so you may receive a test kit in the post before you turn 60.
The kit only requires the collection of a small sample of your stool. Using a prepaid envelope, return the sample to the laboratory for analysis. The sample will be analysed for tiny traces of blood and this will indicate whether further tests are required.
The test is designed to indicate the possibility of the presence of bowel cancer and to prevent this at an early stage by removing pre-cancerous growths, called polyps from the bowel. If bowel cancer is diagnosed at this early stage then more than 90 in 100 people will be cured by surgical removal of the tumour.
Once people are aged 75 or over they no longer receive the test automatically but can opt in by calling the free phone number 0800 707 606
Signs of bowel cancer
You should look out for loose poo for more than three weeks or blood in your poo.
You can help yourself by:
- cutting down on smoking and drinking
- making sure you have a healthy diet
It’s vital not to ignore the warning signs of bowel cancer. Don’t wait for screening if you have symptoms. However, if you have no symptoms and are offered bowel screening, it is important to take advantage of the test. A couple of minutes of your time could save your life.
Tees Bowel Screening Service
University Hospital of North Tees
Monday to Friday –
There is a lot of information available about bowel cancer, but we would advise a note of caution when conducting internet searches for information.
A lot of the content available through popular search engines are produced in countries other than the UK, it may not be based on robust research and some has been made by those with a commercial interest in particular treatments. If you do want to discuss any of the information you find online, please don’t hesitate to your Bowel Screening Practitioner or the medical team providing your care.
The following websites are used regularly by medical staff and provide a wide range of information supported by recognised research methods:
GOV.UK – Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Overview
GOV.UK provides an overview of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme including patient leaflets in a number of different formats and languages.
Bowel Cancer UK
Bowel Cancer UK is the largest UK bowel cancer charity. Their site provides information about bowel cancer research, treatment and other ways the organisation support people with bowel cancer. They have a range of information online and a number of publications you can order.Bowel Cancer UK
Macmillan offer a range of online information and publications about bowel cancer.Macmillan UK Website
The NHS Choices website offers a wide range of information about health matters and NHS services. It includes sections on the screening programme, bowel cancer and the treatments available.NHS Choices Website
Cancer Research UK
The site covers all aspects of research into cancer, as well as a section looking more specifically at bowel cancer. Bowel cancer statistics for your local area can also be viewed.Cancer Research UK Website
Screening Saves Lives
Middlesbrough Council is currently running a campaign to increase awareness of bowel screening.Screening Saves Lives Website