Bowel Screening

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A bowel screening test can find bowel cancer early, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

Half a million people in Scotland do their bowel screening test each year, and you’re 14 times more likely to survive bowel cancer if it’s found early.

Bowel screening is offered to people aged 50 to 74 across Scotland to help find bowel cancer early, when it can often be cured.

What does it involve?

Bowel screening involves taking a simple test at home every 2 years. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, as this could mean a higher chance of bowel cancer.

The aim of the test is to find:

  • bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms
  • other changes in the bowel, such as pre-cancerous growths called ‘polyps’

Most bowel polyps can be removed easily, which can prevent cancer from developing.

Who’ll be screened?

In Scotland, only people aged 50 to 74 will be invited for bowel screening every 2 years.

If you’re 75 or over, you can still take a bowel screening test every 2 years. However, you’ll need to request a new test kit each time as the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre won’t send you one.

Bowel screening for transgender and non-binary people

Non-urgent advice: Your screening invitation

If you’re eligible, the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre will send you a free test kit to your home address. This is the address you used to register with your GP.

If you’ve moved house, you should register with a new GP as soon as possible so that you don’t miss your screening invitation.