Thousands more people in North Ayrshire and across Scotland will benefit from the roll-out of a new and easier screening test to detect symptoms of bowel cancer.
The Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) requires participants to collect one bowel motion sample, rather than the current test which requires samples over three days.
Research suggests FIT’s ease of use will encourage more people to take part in the programme. The test is being offered to all men and women in Scotland aged 50 to 74, every two years.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Bowel Cancer is Scotland’s second largest cancer killer with 1,600 deaths every year. It is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women 95% of cases occur in people aged over 50 years.
“However, with an early diagnosis, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully and patients are 14 times more likely to survive.
“Requiring only one sample instead of two samples over three days, the FIT test is easier to use than the previous process and I hope this will increase uptake.
“If you are eligible, the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre will automatically send you a free test kit to your home address. If you are aged 75 or over, you are able to apply.
“The FIT test takes a minimum effort with a potentially lifesaving result and I encourage all recipients in North Ayrshire to make sure they take advantage of it.”
Detailed information about the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme can be found on the bowel screening pages on the NHS Inform website.