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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Bowel Cancer Screening

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is a national screening programme coordinated by Public Health England.

NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

Most people in their 60s will have already received an invitation from the programme.

Screening is for people without symptoms.

If you are concerned about any symptoms, please contact your GP

Screening test

People eligible for screening receive an invitation letter explaining the programme, along with an information leaflet explaining the benefits and risks of bowel cancer screening.

About a week later, the programme should send a faecal occult blood sampling kit. The kit includes simple instructions for:

  • completing sampling at home
  • sending the samples to the laboratory

The sample is then processed and the results sent to the individual within 2 weeks.


Healthcare professionals should offer patients with an abnormal screening result a colonoscopy. This procedure is an investigation that involves looking directly at the lining of the large bowel.

If the procedure finds polyps, a wire loop passed down the colonoscope tube can remove them.

This process is painless on most occasions and these tissue samples must be tested for any abnormal cells that may be cancerous.