Bowel Screening

Bowel Screening

Bowel screening is offered to men and women aged 50 to 74 across Scotland to help find bowel cancer early when it can often be cured.  You will get a test in the post every two years.  You are 14 times more likely to survive bowel cancer if it is found early.

Half a million people in Scotland do their bowel screening test each year.

For further information or to receive a test kit if you have missed your last screening, please call 0800 0121 833.

Who's at risk?

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland.  Around 4,000 people in Scotland get bowel cancer every year.

It is more common in people over 50 years of age, especially men.

Risk factors

Some risk factors are unavoidable, such as age, sex or family history.  However, as well as doing your bowel screening test you can reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer by:

1.  Eating a health diet containing wholegrains like wholegrain bread and cereals, beans, pulses and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

2.  Limiting foods high in sugar or fat, and avoiding sugary drinks.

3.  Avoiding processed meat like bacon and sausages, and limiting red meat.

4.  Getting to and keeping to a healthy weight - avoid gaining and try losing weight if overweight.

5.  Being more active in everyday life, this includes walking and sitting less.

6.  Drinking less alcohol - not drinking alcohol is better for cancer prevention.

7.  Stopping smoking.

8.  Telling your GP if you have any worries about your bowel habits.

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