Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

More peo­ple than ever be­fore are com­plet­ing their bowel screen­ing tests in Scot­land.

The dis­ease is the third most com­mon form of cancer among Scots, but can be cured if caught early – and com­plet­ing a screen­ing test is the best way of do­ing that.

The test is sent every two years to the homes of peo­ple aged be­tween 50 and 74 in Scot­land – with more than 500,000 peo­ple com­plet­ing it an­nu­ally.

Pro­fes­sor Bob Steele, Di­rec­tor of the Scot­tish Bowel Screen­ing Pro­gramme, says the con­cept of screen­ing is to of­fer tests to peo­ple who don’t have symp­toms.

He said:“The pur­pose is to try to de­tect the dis­ease be­fore it reaches the stage where it causes symp­toms.

“In bowel cancer, the test de­tects traces of blood in the bowel mo­tion. The test is sent out to peo­ples’homes in the post with a let­ter, and they are of­fered an op­por­tu­nity to take part in the screen­ing.

“With this test, we pick up very early can­cers that can be cured by surgery alone, and about 16 per cent of can­cers are so early they can just be re­moved at the time of colonoscopy and the pa­tient doesn’t need to have surgery at all.” The early signs of bowel cancer are of­ten hid­den, so it’s im­por­tant to look out for these signs or changes in be­tween screen­ings. If you ex­pe­ri­ence any of the symp­toms be­low, make an ap­point­ment with your GP as soon as pos­si­ble. • Re­peated bleed­ing from your bot­tom or blood in your poo. • A re­cent change in your poo that con­tin­ues for more than four weeks with­out go­ing back to nor­mal. • Watery poo on its own or with con­sti­pa­tion. • Se­vere pain in your stom­ach that won’t go away, es­pe­cially af­ter eat­ing. • You’ve re­cently lost weight with­out try­ing. • You feel tired all the time. • Bowel cancer is the third most com­mon cancer in Scot­land. • It’s more com­mon in peo­ple over 50, es­pe­cially men, but nine out of 10 peo­ple beat it when it’s caught early. • The free test com­pleted at home can spot hid­den blood in your poo – a pos­si­ble sign of bowel cancer. • If you’re 75 or over, or you’ve made a mis­take/ mis­placed your test, you can re­quest one from the Scot­tish Bowel Screen­ing Cen­tre on 0800 0121 833. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit #jointhe­bow­el­move­ment

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