Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK. However, the number of people dying has fallen in recent decades, with earlier diagnosis being the key. Yet still, the latest data shows that almost one third of people who were sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit in England last year did not go on to complete it.
The NHS bowel cancer screening kit detects signs of cancer before you notice anything wrong. Detecting bowel cancer at the earliest stage makes you up to 9 times more likely to be successfully treated. So if you’re aged 60 to 74 (lowering to 50 by 2025), live in England and registered with a GP practice, you’ll be sent a kit in the post automatically, every two years.
The kit is quick to complete and can be done in the privacy of your own bathroom using the step-by-step instructions on the box. You only need to collect one tiny sample of poo using the plastic stick provided, pop it in the sample bottle and post it for free, to be tested.
If something is found, you will be invited to have further tests, usually at a hospital.
The test works by checking for tiny traces of blood, which may not be visible to the naked eye. Blood in your poo is one of the signs of bowel cancer, but does not always mean cancer. Instead, it could be a sign of piles or polyps (growths in the bowel). Polyps are not cancer but could develop into cancer over time.
So if you’re sent the kit, help yourself by remembering to complete it. Put it by loo. Don’t put it off.
Latest data shows that nearly a third (30%) of those who are eligible for their cervical screening have not taken up the offer of the potentially lifesaving test.
The NHS is calling on anyone eligible who has not yet come forward, to book an appointment, as these checks save lives and combined with the HPV vaccination programme could make cervical cancer a thing of the past.
The call comes as cervical cancer charity, Jo’s Trust, launches its annual Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (23-29 Jan 2023) to raise awareness of cervical cancer and to drive uptake in the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.
Around 2,700 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England each year and approximately 690 die from the disease – around two deaths every day. The NHS Cervical Screening Programme helps save thousands of lives per year and those who are invited are being encouraged to ensure they attend their screening.
In the last year (21/22) the NHS sent out more screening invitations than ever before – more than 5 million – and 3.5 million people came forward for testing.
Cervical screening can prevent up to 75% of instances of cervical cancer and is estimated to save thousands of lives per year.
It’s important that you attend your cervical screening when invited. If you missed your last cervical screening, book an appointment with your GP practice now – it is not too late.
We are proud to be a safe surgery for everyone in our community, and pledge to ensure that everyone in our community receives the quality healthcare they are entitled to.
In partnership with Doctors of the World UK, we will ensure that our practice offers a welcoming space for everyone who seeks to use our services. We will ensure that a lack of identification, proof of address, or immigration status do not prevent patient registration.
As a member of the Safe Surgeries community, we will endeavour to support other Safe Surgeries and the development of the network.
111 If you need urgent medical help, but you’re not sure if you need to go to A&E, use NHS 111 online or call 111. You’ll get assessed and directed to the right place for you. 111 online is for people aged 5 and over.
Pharmacy or GP Practice For all other health needs, contact your pharmacy or GP practice. You can also access NHS advice and information at www.nhs.uk
Pick the option that suits you best. No matter how you choose to get in touch with us, whether it’s using an online form, calling or visiting, you’ll get the help that’s right for you.
Getting back to you
No matter how you get in touch, you’ll get the help that’s right for you.
Book a face-to-face appointment for you
Arrange a phone or video consultation
Send you a text message, for example, inviting you for a blood test
Arrange a home visit, or
Refer you to another service.
However we respond, you can rest assured that we’re always looking after your needs.
Help us, help you
When requesting care, whether online, by phone or in person, it helps us if you explain what’s wrong. This ensures you get the care you need at the right time from the right person – for example, from the doctor or nurse who normally treats you. It also helps our medical team to prioritise those who need care most.
If you prefer not to say – for example, when talking to our reception team – they will always respect your privacy. However, it’s an important part of their job to ask, so thank you for your support with this.
Please also tell us if:
You would prefer us to talk with you by phone, face-to-face or by video call
You need to speak to a particular person because they have treated you before
There are certain times of day when you can’t talk, for example you are at work, at school or college
You need English to be interpreted, you need help from another person at your appointment, or if you have other communications needs.
We will do our best to meet your needs in the way you would like, but please bear in mind that if you are unwell, our priority will be to ensure you receive care quickly.
Help from your local pharmacy team
Your local community pharmacist and their team can help and support with minor illnesses. As dedicated, qualified health professionals, and experts in medicines, they can offer clinical advice, consultations and over the counter medicines to help safely manage a wide range of minor health concerns. Many pharmacies also offer a range of new NHS clinical services including blood pressure testing.
For urgent medical help
If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, NHS 111 can help. Call or go online, 111.nhs.uk.
For life-threatening emergencies, dial 999.
Talk to us
If you would like any further information, please speak to us next time you’re in touch.