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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Screening for Bowel Cancer Could Save Your Life

First time bowel screening test recipients in Ayrshire and Arran are being urged to join the ‘bowel movement’ as part of a campaign to further increase uptake in Scotland.

The importance of taking the test has been underlined as new figures show around half of people aged between 50-51 in Scotland completed and returned their test in 2016. Nationally, first timers account for around 10% of bowel screening test invitations issued each year.

Bowel cancer is more common in those aged 50 and over.

Every year, more than 500,000 people do the life-saving bowel screening test in Scotland. The test is offered to people aged 50 -74 every two years and remains the most effective way of finding the disease early.

Mr Bob Diament, Colorectal Surgeon and Director of Ayrshire and Arran’s bowel screening programme said:

“Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland yet it is very curable if it’s found early. In fact, nine out of ten people survive the disease if it’s detected and treated in its earliest stages.

“Early diagnosis through bowel screening is the best way to join the increasing number of survivors of bowel cancer in Ayrshire and Arran. If you have received a screening kit in the post take the opportunity, take the test and encourage your family and friends to take the test too.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“Completing the bowel screening test could save your life. The early symptoms of bowel cancer can be hard to spot, but this screening programme can detect the early stages even before symptoms develop. I’d urge all 50 to 51-year-olds to do it.”

For more information on the bowel screening test, visit or call the Scottish Bowel Screening Helpline on 0800 0121 833.

  • All men and women aged 50-74 are invited for bowel screening

every two years in Scotland.

  • Anyone aged 75 or over can still take a bowel screening test every two years if they want to. They simply need to request a kit.

  • The test can be completed in the privacy of your own home, is free and could save your life.



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