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Niki asked...

Tags: cancer

Please could you let me have the details of bowel cancer screening tests as offered by GP's. What is involved and how accurate are the results. Are they as good as a colonoscopy. I have bowel cancer in the family Thank you

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The Answer

Bowel cancer screening is offered to everyone by the NHS over the age of 60. It is done by checking three samples of stool (pooh) for evidence of blood. If blood is found then you are sent for a colonoscopy, which is the current gold standard screening test. If you are under the age of 60 and have a significant family history then the GP may refer you straight for a colonoscopy. If you develop any new symptoms suggesting bowel cancer such as a change in bowel habit (new diarrhoea or constipation lasting more than three weeks), blood, black stool or stomach pains then you must report these to the doctor immediately for a check-up.

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