17 December 2017
Frequently Asked Questions

 I am 56 years of age and have noticed bleeding, can I request a kit?

If you have experienced any of the symptoms mentioned on this webpage, you should see your GP for further advice. Currently people aged below 60 years are unable to request a screening kit.

 What do I do if I have not filled in the test kit correctly?

Don't worry. Simply contact the National Helpline number 0800 70 60 60 and they will send you a new kit.

 Can I request kits for my family and friends?

No. If they are in the above age group and live in an area where screening is already on offer, they will automatically receive a kit. If they don't live in one of these areas and are experiencing any bowel symptoms, they should see their GP for further advice.

 My piles are always bleeding, is there any point in doing the kit?

Yes. Although piles can be responsible for an abnormal test kit result, this doesn't necessarily mean there is nothing wrong with the rest of your bowel. We can only give you this sort of reassurance following a colonoscopy examination.

 I am currently undergoing treatment for cancer, should I complete the kit?

People who are currently having some form of cancer treatment should in the first instance seek advice from their oncologist (cancer doctor) before completing the kit. Your GP will also be able to advise you.  You can also contact the National Helpline number, who will pass on your call to a SSP at your local hospital.

 How long does screening take?

Screening happens very quickly. Screening test kits are tested as soon as the laboratory receives them back from you. If it as abnormal result, you will be offered an appointment to see the SSP within 2 weeks and a colonoscopy within a further 2 weeks.

 Will I need to take time off work?

If you require a colonoscopy, you will need to take the day off when the appointment is booked. Bowel preparation on the day before the test is started around 4pm in the afternoon. If you work later than this you may need to take this day off work as well. The day following the colonoscopy you should feel well enough to return to work however, you are advised not to drive until 24hrs following your test.

 How will I feel following the colonoscopy?

You may feel slightly sleepy and experience a bloating feeling due to some of the air still being in your bowel. Please try to relax for the remainder of the day. Sucking peppermints or eating ginger biscuits, having a relaxing warm bath, can all help you to pass this air.