FAQs About Bowel Cancer Screening

We understand patients can be nervous about their first GI consultation. Some Bowel Cancer Screening related frequently asked questions are listed here but if you can not find the answer to your query please get in touch and we will be happy to help.

What age do I need to go for bowel cancer screening?

Bowel cancer screening is available on the NSH for everyone over age 55. If you want screening before this age then you will need to visit a private clinic. Some people over age 55 also choose to go to a private clinic for added peace of mind and shorter appointment times.

If you are between 50 and 55 years old, then you are still considered a moderate risk. Over the next decade, it is estimated that 40,000 people in the UK, in this age bracket, will be diagnosed with bowel cancer.

If you are over 55 and have the chance to complete your bowel cancer test, then ensure you do as only 60% of those sent a bowel cancer test kit actually complete theirs

Does the bowel cancer screening test hurt?

The colonoscopy examination may be a little uncomfortable, although a small amount of sedative is used to ensure maximum comfort. The same applies for the sigmoidoscopy. If you are invited for a CT colonoscopy then this causes no pain as it is non-invasive and uses CT technology.

Is screening essential for diagnosing bowel cancer?

Sometimes symptoms will indicate bowel cancer, however they can often be similar to other gastroenterological conditions so the bowel cancer screening tests are important to determine the exact nature of the symptoms.

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