Bowel screening

A man sits on the toilet

In the bowel screening section you can find out about the bowel screening programme and what it involves.

All men and women aged 50–74 are invited for bowel screening. Bowel screening involves taking a simple test at home every two years.

From April 2013, if you’re 75 or over you can still take a bowel screening test every two years if you want to. You will not be automatically sent a test kit every two years though, so you’ll need to request one.

It’s still free – just call the Bowel Screening Centre Helpline on 0800 0121 833 (textphone 180010800 0121 833).

See the leaflets section for more information.

Detect cancer early

Bowel screening has recently been the subject of an advertising campaign across Scotland as part of the Detect Cancer Early programme.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland. Every year in Scotland, almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with the disease.

Although bowel cancer is common, it is also highly treatable if detected early. If we find bowel cancer early enough, there’s more than a 90% chance of successful treatment. The sooner it’s caught, the easier it is to treat.

Bowel scope screening 

As part of the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme, bowel scope screening (flexisigmoidoscopy) is being offered to some men and women aged around 60 in Scotland.

The bowel scope screening section of this site explains the procedure.

Bowel scope screening does not replace the bowel cancer home screening kit, sent to all men and women aged 50–74 every two years.

Find out more

We also have information on:

Bowel Cancer Awareness

The Scottish Government recently launched a Detect Cancer Early Bowel Screening campaign in order to improve cancer survival rates by increasing the number of Scots diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease.

Health A-Z articles

You can find out more about the following in our Health A-Z section

Last updated: 18 June 2014