Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland after lung and breast cancer. Every year, almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with the disease.
The Scottish Bowel Screening Programme will invite all men and women in Scotland between the ages of 50 to 74 for screening every two years. The programme has been rolled out across Scotland and is now available in all NHS Boards.
Why is screening important?
Bowel cancer is more common in people over 50 years of age, especially in men. One in 20 of us over 50 years of age will get bowel cancer at some point in our lives.
Screening aims to find bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms. The screening test looks for hidden blood in the bowel motion, as this may suggest a higher chance of bowel cancer.
Other changes in the bowel can also be found, such as polyps (non-cancerous growths). If found, most polyps can be easily removed and often prevent future cancers developing.
If bowel cancer is detected early enough through screening, there is a 90% chance of treating the disease successfully.
For approximately every 650 people invited for regular screening, one bowel cancer death will be prevented. In Scotland this will mean the screening programme will prevent at least 150 deaths from bowel cancer each year.
Of our practice population invited for screening, 64 % returned their tests. For more information click here to visit the bowel screning website.