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Scottish Bowel Screening

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland after breast and lung cancer.  Every year approximately 4000 people are newly diagnosed with the condition.  1 in every 18 men over the age of a 50 will develop bowel cancer, whilst 1 in every 22 women over the age of 50 are at risk. 




The following symptoms may be present in bowel cancer (and other conditions), however should warrant further investigation by making an appointment with one of the Alva Medical Practice GP’s:




·        Bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel motions.


·        A change in the consistency of your bowel motions for over 6 weeks.


·        Abdominal pains.


·        Weight loss when not trying.


·        Increasing tiredness, looking paler than usual.




The Scottish Bowel Screening Programme has been developed to increase the number of people who can be diagnosed at an early stage.  The earlier bowel cancer is detected the more successful treatment will be.  All men and women between the ages of 50 and 74 will be invited to participate in screening.  A letter will be sent to your home soon after your 50th birthday and then every two years until you are 75. 




Screening is performed by a test that detects blood in your bowel motions (poo) that may not be visible to the eye.  A testing kit will be sent to your home with instructions of how to use it.  It should then be returned in the Freepost envelope included in the pack.  You should receive the results of this test in two weeks.




Most people’s tests will be negative; however should the test detect blood in your bowel motions, further investigations will be organised as an outpatient for you at ForthValleyRoyalHospital for you.  This may include a camera test, which looks into your bowel called a colonoscopy which would detect any underlying bowel cancer.




No screening test is 100% effective so even if you have a negative screening test please do not ignore the above symptoms and seek advice from one of our GP’s.




If you have lost your kit, wonder if you may be eligible for screening or wish further information please contact the




Scottish Bowel Screening Helpline: 0800 0121 833.






Further information


Further information regarding the Screening Programme and also has information in several different languages.


Patient information resources.


- The Poo Song Video


- Scottish Goverment Bowel Cancer Awareness Video


- How to do the Bowel Cancer Test Video




NHS Scotland and Scottish Government Healthier Scotland initiative videos.


The above link is a leaflet with step-by-step instructions of how to complete the screening test.




This leaflet is also available in other languages at the following link:



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