Start of Bowel Cancer Awareness month.

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month, we will be working with the NHS and partners to inform residents throughout the month about the screening available to them, answer the myths and what signs and symptoms to look out for.

This is a national month of awareness to dispel embarrassment and get people talking about their bowels and encouraging everyone who is sent a testing kit to return it.

Residents in England will automatically be enrolled in the screening process and will be sent a testing kit through the post every two years.  The test is taken in the comfort of their own home making it convenient and easy. 

The home testing kit that is sent out to residents is called a faecal immunochemical test or a FIT test.  It collects a small sample of poo and once residents have taken the test and posted it back to the lab, is then tested for tiny amounts of blood. Tests need to be taken every two years until residents are 75 or older.   

Councillor Kelly Middleton Cabinet Member for healthy, safer & stronger communities and partnerships said “The national bowel cancer screening programme is very important, and needs to be viewed in the same way that breast screening is viewed today.  It is a simple test that can pick up blood in your poo and best of all, you can do it at home as the test kit is posted to anyone registered with a GP who is between 56 and 74 years old.  

“Did you know that a lot of the tests that get sent out aren’t returned?  Don’t wait for concerning symptoms or changes in your bowel habits, picking up bowel cancer at the earliest stage gives you a greater chance of survival” 

Residents are encouraged to take the test and return it to the lab if one gets sent to them in the post.  But it’s also really important that if people experience a change in their normal bowel habit or notice blood in their poo that it’s not ignored and should be discussed with a GP. If you are concerned you have missed a screening test and would like to request a screening kit for yourself or a loved one you care for and you’re between 56 – 74 years, you can do so by phoning the NHS free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 6060.

Remember spotting bowel cancer earlier can make it easier to treat. 

For more information you can go to 

NHS England 

Cancer Research UK – Bowel Cancer symptoms 

Bowel Cancer UK 

Lingen Davies work to improve the lives of everyone impacted by cancer in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and Mid-Wales. Their Cancer Champions, is a local initiative which encourages the community to take up cancer screening and spot the early signs of cancer and seek help. 

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