Basildon University Hospital is the accredited Bowel Cancer Screening Centre for South Essex, treating patients from South West and South East Essex. All 60-74 year olds living in South Essex are invited to take part by letter and will then be sent a free and simple test kit to use in the privacy of their own home. The programme uses the faecal occult blood test, which looks for hidden (occult) traces of blood in the stools.
About 98 in 100 people receive a normal result. The test does not diagnose bowel cancer but indicates whether further investigations are required. Two in 100 people will receive a positive test result which can occur for a variety of reasons, for example, haemorrhoids, diet, medications, as well as in cases of bowel cancer. Of the two per cent of people who receive an abnormal result only a very small number of these patients will have cancer. These people will be asked to attend an appointment with a specialist nurse at Basildon University Hospital, to talk about any further investigations that may be needed.
People over the age of 74 can opt into the screening programme by calling the free phone No. 0800 707 6060 and requesting a kit.
Bowel cancer facts
- bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK
- about 80% of people who get bowel cancer are over 60
- there are abound 35,000 cases of bowel cancer in the UK each year
- there are approximately 16,000 deaths a year from bowel cancer
- bowel cancer affects more than 1 in 20 people in their lifetime but 90% survive if it is caught early enough
For further information about the Bowel Cancer Screening service, please contact 01268 524900 ext 1360