Bowel (or colorectal) cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland after lung and breast cancer. Every year, almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with the disease. For men the risk of getting colorectal cancer over the age of 50 is 1 in 18 (5.5%) and for women the equivalent risk is 1 in 22 (4.5%).
The Scottish Bowel Screening Programme invites all men and women in Scotland between the ages of 50 to 74 for screening every two years. Once a patient is 'called' they will be recalled during the same month every two years until they are 75.
Patients are sent a kit and are encouraged to return this within three months, but kits will be accepted up to six months after they are sent.
Thereafter, patients wishing a replacement kit or any advice should phone the Bowel Screening helpline on 0800 0121 833.
A new, simpler, kit is being sent to patients from 20 November 2017. This requires only one sample, so will hopefully be less off-putting for patients.
For 2015-17 the uptake at the practice was 59.6%, just short of the 60% target, but well above the Renfrewshire average of 51.7%. The GPs hope that, with the new, more-straightforward, test, we will far exceed the uptake rate in the next few years.
More information on bowel screening is available from:
Scottish Bowel Screening Programme website: www.bowelscreening.scot.nhs.uk
NHS inform: www.nhsinform.co.uk
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde learning disabilities materials: www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk