Bowel screening involves taking a simple test at home every 2 years.
The test looks for hidden blood in your bowel motion (poo), as this could mean a higher chance of bowel cancer.
In Scotland, bowel screening prevents 150 deaths from bowel cancer each year.
Who'll be tested?
In Scotland, only people aged 50 to 74 will be invited for bowel screening.
If you’re 75 or over, you can still take a bowel screening test every 2 years. However, you’ll need to request a new test kit each time as the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre won't send you one.
Requesting a test kit
You can request a test kit by contacting the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre:
Please include your name, address and contact details when requesting a kit by email.
The helpline is open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. If nobody is available to take your call, please leave a voicemail message, and a member of staff will return your call.
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 people who are 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 people aged 50 to 74 every 2 years.