Bowel screening programme
A national programme to screen people for bowel cancer is being rolled out to people living in Greater Peterborough and South Lincolnshire.
NHS Peterborough and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are part of the Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke Bowel Cancer screening centre which is providing free bowel cancer screening for people aged between 60 and 69.
Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Previously the only way to receive a bowel cancer screening test was by request to a GP.
People aged between 60 and 69 in Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (which includes Crowland, Bourne, the Deepings and Stamford) will receive bowel cancer screening test kits through the post from the regional programme hub. The test involves providing small stool samples for analysis and it is non-obtrusive and painless.
The kits are being sent to people in stages during the next two years so not everyone will receive a test at the same time. Once they receive their first test kit, people will then continue to receive kits every two years until they reach the age of 70 after which time they are encouraged to self refer and take a test by calling the freephone helpline on 0800 707 60 60. The screening programme is concentrating on people in their 60s because more than 80 per cent of bowel cancers occur in people aged 60 and above.
Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is providing colonoscopy services for the screening programme. Of those who take the test only about two per cent will have an abnormal result and those who do will be offered a colonoscopy at Peterborough District Hospital. Not everyone who has a colonoscopy will have bowel cancer.
The Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke bowel cancer screening centre is a partnership between NHS Peterborough, NHS Lincolnshire, NHS Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust.
Further information about the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is available from www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk or by calling 0800 707 60 60.