Bowel cancer screening in Solihull

Bowel cancer screening in Solihull looks for early signs of the disease in otherwise healthy people that do not have any symptoms.

If you are concerned that you have symptoms of bowel cancer, you should:

  • contact your GP
  • call 111

If you have questions about bowel cancer or are over 75 and would like to request a testing kit you can call 0800 707 60 60.

NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

The NHS provides its free NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme at a cost of about £80 million each year.

To detect cases of bowel cancer, the NHS offers 2 types of bowel cancer screening to adults registered with a GP in Solihull.

All men and women aged 60 to 74 years old are invited to carry out what is known as a faecal occult blood, or FOB, test at home.

The home test kit is sent through the post every 2 years up until the age of 74.

The process for bowel cancer screening is explained in full on the NHS Choices website.

The NHS states that bowel cancer is 1 of the most common cancers in the UK and:

  • 40,000 cases are diagnosed every year
  • it will develop in 1 in 20 of us (5 per cent)
  • nearly 9 in 10 (90 per cent) of people diagnosed with bowel cancer are over 60 years old

In association with Cancer Research UK, the NHS has produced a ‘Bowel cancer screening: the facts’ leaflet.

Understanding bowel cancer screening

Screening is the term given to looking for the early signs of a disease.

Screening is able to:

  • find changes in the body that may not be a sign of cancer
  • allow for early treatment to prevent cancer developing later
  • give a greater chance that cancer can be cured if detected

In addition to the bowel cancer screening programme, there are 2 other cancer screening programmes in Solihull:

The symptoms of bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is the 4th most common cancer in the UK.

If it is detected at an early stage, before symptoms appear, it can be easier to treat with a better chance of surviving it.

Though bowel cancer screening reduces the risk of dying from the disease, like all testing, it is not 100 per cent effective.

For this reason, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer.

Common symptoms of bowel cancer are:

  • a long-term change to bowel habits, particularly visiting the toilet more frequently
  • suffering from persistent diarrhoea over a number of weeks
  • bleeding from the bottom for no clear reason
  • abdominal pain, especially if it is severe
  • a lump in your abdomen (belly or tummy)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should visit your doctor.