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Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had a major impact on the NHS, including bowel cancer screening services and, as a result, patients may have waited longer than they usually do to be invited for regular screening.  Now that services are running again, they can feel reassured by the safety measures that have been put in place.

Bowel cancer is still the fourth most comment cancer and the second cause of cancer deaths in England. It is therefore important that when you receive a screening test kit you complete it and return it to the screening HUB in the pre-paid envelope provided.

Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms) when treatment is more likely to be effective. It is therefore important that we encourage our patients to engage with the bowel cancer screening programme.  Every year over 42,000 people in the UK are affected by bowel cancer. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer and this is why you need to complete your screening test kit. 

Screening is for people aged 60-74 and the national screening programme will invite you to complete a screening test every 2 years. If you are aged 75 or over you can call 0800 707 6060 and opt in and request a kit.  If you are younger than 60 and you are having symptoms then you should contact your GP.

Symptoms can include: bleeding form your bottom and/or blood in your poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason, a pain or lump in your tummy but other health problems can cause similar symptoms, around 9 in 100 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer, be safe and be checked.

Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer.

At UHNM the service operates over 2 sites, Royal Stoke and County/Stafford.

To protect everyone against the possible spread of Covid-19, screening providers will ensure that social distancing can be observed, and additional infection control procedures have been introduced. This includes the wearing of personal protective equipment by staff such as face masks and gloves.

Dr Sandip Sen, North Staffordshire Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Clinical Director says:

"Measures are in place to ensure that essential, pre assessment clinics and colonoscopy clinics are delivered safely. It is important to complete your screening test kit when you are invited."

Dr Sandip Sen

North Staffordshire Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Clinical Director


Lead Bowel Cancer Screening Nurse