One thing our surgery is currently working on is spreading the awareness/facts about bowel cancer, in the hopes that this will encourage our patients to take part in the bowel screening programme, which is a simple test that can be done at home once every two years, and saves hundreds of lives. Heres the facts.
- Almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in Scotland. 95% are aged over 50 years. Incidence rates in Scotland are the highest in the UK, and are more common in men than women.
- Survival from bowel cancer has improved significantly over the past 20 years. The 5-year survival rate is now over 50%
- It is the third most common cancer in males, with over 2,000 being diagnosed in Scotland each year.
So what is the Bowel Screening Test? It is known as an FOBt, a "Faecal occult blood test" and every male and female between the ages of 50 and 74 will have one of these kits posted to their homes once every 2 years, usually around the time of their birthday. It looks like this:
- You can watch a short film on how to carry out the test on the bowel screening website; www.bowelscreening.scot.nhs.uk
- When completed, test kits are returned in the freepost envelope without delay.
- A Freephone Bowel Screening Helpline is available with trained staff who are happy to answer any questions.
- The Scottish Bowel Screening Centre will provide all participants of their results.
So please do participate in this programme every two years, as it is working. We also encourage all our patients to notify us promptly, with any change of address or contact details, to ensure you get kits like these which can save lives.
If you have any questions reguarding the Bowel Screening Programme, don't hesitate to contact us at Whiteinch Medical Practice, we can provide you with more detailed websites, advice from doctors and nurses, and some detailed leaflets are available at reception. Thank you.