Bowel cancer campaign success

THIS year’s national bowel cancer awareness month has proved a success with NHS Nottinghamshire County seeing a great improvement in the number of completed screening test kits being returned.

The aim of the screening programme is to help detect bowel cancer at its earliest stages. So, if you’re aged 60-69 and registered with a GP, you will be sent a free screening kit which is easy and simple to complete and can be done in the privacy of your own home.

As well as raising awareness, it is also a great opportunity to review the success so far of the bowel cancer screening programme in Nottinghamshire which was launched in 2008.

Over two thirds of people across Nottinghamshire returned their kits this year and there are plans to extend the screening programme to people up to the age of 75 later this year or early next year.

The NHS is also looking at introducing a test called a ‘flexible sigmoidoscopy’ for 55 year olds. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a way at looking at the lower part of the bowel with a thin flexible tube called an endoscope. Flexible sigmoidoscopy aims to detect polyps and early bowel cancers. The NHS is currently working out the details for introducing this across the country.

Annette Pilkington, Screening Lead for NHS Nottinghamshire County said: “I am really pleased that we have seen an increase across Nottinghamshire in the number of people that have returned their screening kits and I would urge those who receive one to do the same. It’s quick, it’s simple and it could save your life.

“The earlier bowel cancer can be detected and treated the more effective and less painful the treatment will be. “

If you are over 75 you can call freephone 0800 707 60 60 to request a kit. If you are worried or have any concerns visit your GP.