Cancer Won’t Wait. Screening saves lives, are you up to date?

Published on: Tuesday 5 April 2022

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and we are encouraging 56 and over 60 year olds to participate in bowel screening as part of the National Age Extension Campaign for bowel screening.

Previously bowel screening kits have been available for anyone over the age of 60 years with 60-74-year-olds automatically sent a home test every two years. Last year in April 2021, 56 year olds were invited to take part in screening and eventually everyone between the ages of 50 and 74 will be invited to take part.

Every 15 minutes somebody is diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK and it is one of the most common types of cancers diagnosed in the UK.

The campaign is being promoted across our social media channels and outdoor advertising is taking place in Brent, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham. These are boroughs that RM Partners, who we are working with on this campaign, have identified as needing encouragement to participate in bowel cancer screening.

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Bowel cancer screening is done at home which could ease worry for those that may be nervous about going to hospital since the pandemic. The kit, which includes simple instructions, is sent in the post and test results arrive back in the post within 2 weeks.

Dr Abhijit Singh Gill, Hammersmith and Fulham GP, Cancer Lead for NHS NW London Clinical Commissioning Group and Primary Care Clinical Director for RM Partners West London Cancer Alliance, which provided support for this campaign said:

“Bowel cancer is highly treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. However, the outcomes drop significantly when the disease is diagnosed at a later stage. Screening is a way of finding out if there are any signs of cancer so that early treatment can be offered or information given to help make informed decisions.

People may have put off routine checks due to the pandemic but it’s important screening doesn’t slip – and the great thing about bowel screening is it can be done easily at home with a few simple steps”

Everybody who is registered with a GP and in the age criteria will automatically be sent a Bowel Cancer Screening kit every 2 years. The kit includes simple instructions and test results arrive back in the post within 2 weeks. If you would like the NHS to send you a testing kit call the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

If you are worried about a family history of bowel cancer or have any symptoms, please contact your GP practice for advice.  

Cancer won’t wait. Screening saves lives, are you up to date?