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What stops you from posting your poo?

Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Community Team Posts: 3,210 Disability Gamechanger
edited January 28 in Disabled people
The following information has been provided by a Bowel Screening Coordinator who works for the NHS in England. She explains why you should take part in the bowel cancer screening programme, who can access it, how it works, and what might happen if an abnormality is found.

Why should I take part in the bowel cancer screening programme?

Statistics show that disabled people are less likely to take part in the bowel cancer screening programme, yet screening is vital for the prevention and early detection of many forms of cancer. 

According to Public Health England, bowel cancer is the 4th biggest cause of cancer deaths in the UK, and many of these deaths may have been prevented if the cancer was detected at an early stage. 

Also, early stage treatments for bowel cancer can be much less invasive than later stage interventions.

Who can access the screening service, and how does it work?

The screening service is offered to all people registered with a GP who are aged 60-74 years. 

A central distribution hub will send out a kit after your 60th birthday, which is completed in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

People aged 75 or over are not automatically sent a kit, but can opt in by calling the hub on 0800 707 60 60.

The test only takes a couple of minutes to complete - all we need is a small sample of poo – the hub will check this for minute traces of blood which can indicate a problem within the bowel long before any physical symptoms become noticeable.

After a normal result the person will be informed, and a new kit will be sent 2 years later up until age 74 is reached. 

Of course, should you experience any worrying changes in bowel habit, tummy pain/lumps, or blood in your poo between tests, you should speak to your GP right away.





What if my test result is abnormal?

If the kit result is abnormal, a specialist screen practitioner will call you or your carer or family to discuss what happens next. It is likely that you would be invited to attend hospital for further investigations, usually a colonoscopy. 

This procedure is carried out under sedation if chosen, and the findings will be given straight away. In most cases, if a polyp is found we can remove it there and then. The friendly NHS team would be with you every step of the way. 

What if I don't find the screening instruction booklet accessible? 

There are various different leaflets available, including instructions showing how to use the screening kit in British Sign Language, and easy-read versions of the standard information booklets.

Do you have any questions about the bowel cancer screening service? Is there anything holding you back from taking part in the programme? 

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Replies

  • CressCress Member Posts: 445 Pioneering
    They is a pain...they wanted me to travel way too far for a hospital screening...I asked could I not do the home screen but they dont accept 57 year old poo by post only 60 year plus poo...
    So in another three years I will happily post my poo...
    Thought this thread was a whole other thing lol!
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 2,922 Pioneering
    @Tori_Scope I cant post either dint know what the difference is  poo is poo at the the end of the day 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Community Team Posts: 3,210 Disability Gamechanger
    All title credit goes to Cher, but I couldn't resist @Cress :D I'm worry that you had to travel a long way for a hospital screening. Did you go in the end? 

    According to the NHS page on bowel cancer, almost 9 in 10 people with bowel cancer are aged 60 or over. It would therefore make sense that they'd prioritise this group for home tests, which people are potentially more likely to do. I'd definitely encourage anyone to attend in in-person test if invited, as well as doing the home kit once you've turned 60. 
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  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,587 Scope community team
    I hand-delivered mine. In a sense.

    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

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  • 66Mustang66Mustang Member Posts: 4,275 Disability Gamechanger
    I hand-delivered mine. In a sense.

    Apologies if this wasn’t meant to be funny but you made me spit my drink all over my iPad :D
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 2,922 Pioneering
    @66Mustang I had to read it twice  lol  hope your ipad is ok lol 😆 
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,896 Disability Gamechanger
    I wouldn't accept 57 year old poo either!!!! I know my son felt a bit odd posting my poo, but I hadn't saved any up for 60 years....honest. :)
    Seriously, I lost my Mum to bowel cancer when I was 22, & she was 61. These home tests are invaluable. You should also talk to your Dr if you have any worrying symptoms prior to age 60.
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 2,922 Pioneering
    @chiarieds if its to painful to  answer   dont worry I understand  but what are the signs if bowel cancer 

  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,896 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @lisathomas - this is important, so I don't mind answering. My Mum noticed blood in her poo, so visited her GP. He unfortunately put it down to all sorts of things....women's problems; the menopause. When she eventually mentioned this to me, I accompanied her to our GPs, when I was about 18, & fought for her to be see a specialist. She ended up having a colostomy, but the rectal cancer came back, & she died 3+years later. Her GP later apologised to me.
    The signs of bowel cancer may be as mentioned above, blood in your poo being one, or if you have a change in your bowel motions, such as more frequent bowel motions/ diarrhoea, tho the latter may be due to another cause, or just a dietary change. Any blood in your poo I would get checked out. More info here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer/
  • CressCress Member Posts: 445 Pioneering
    66Mustang said:
    I hand-delivered mine. In a sense.

    Apologies if this wasn’t meant to be funny but you made me spit my drink all over my iPad :D
    Must admit I did wonder if it was some kind of dirty protest..lol!
    @chiarieds you have a very kind son, I know mine wouldn't if it came with a led lined box!
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 2,922 Pioneering
    @chiarieds thank you  I can rule that out then havent got that 

    I have tummy ache quite alot and I keep losing my balance  
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,896 Disability Gamechanger
    @lisathomas50 - do mention any concerns to your GP. Balance issues can be many & varied, but your GP is there to work out what it may be.
    @Cress - I have a wonderful son who said, come & live near me, & I will look after you, which he does. He declined to put my poo sample in his coat pocket, but posted it nonetheless. :)
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 2,922 Pioneering
    @chiarieds I have looked on line but just scareing  myself lol try dr thinks it's an after affect of corona virus but I don't know 

    Before I had corona virus the first time my lupus was the reason things happend to me lol 😆 
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,873 Disability Gamechanger
    I think i was offered this when i was 60 but didn't do it.

    And whilst not making light of the subject i was reminded of my son when we first got a PC in the mid 90's him and his m8s were fascinated by a website called "rate my poo", it was in really bad taste (so to speak) but extremely funny.
  • MrsSJMMrsSJM Member Posts: 2 Listener

     Hi Everyone, I'm Sarah from the Bowel Cancer Screening Service, nice to meet you all!  Thank you for your valuable comments. 

    Cress, prior to the Covid pandemic we were hoping to lower the screening age to 50, but then Covid took over and our plans were put on hold.  Hopefully we will get back on track soon at which time we will be happy to receive your 57yr old poo!

    Lisa, symptoms of bowel cancer can vary but usually a change in bowel habits lasting more than 2 weeks, bleeding when you poo, unexplained weight loss, pain or hardness in the tummy should trigger you to see your GP.  Don't worry about wasting his or her time, its really important that such symptoms are reported and investigated.  Sometimes blood in your poo is something simple like piles which are usually easily treated.

    If you have any of the symptoms above don't wait for your 60+ poo kit to arrive - seek medical advice before then. 

    Thank you for joining the discussion on this really important subject - let me know if you have any questions, best wishes everyone!  Sarah :)

  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,131 Disability Gamechanger
    I haven't done a postal test, that's still many years off for me, but did have to provide a sample for the first time a few weeks ago.

    Trying to work out how to get it from where it normally is, into a tiny pot, was certainly an experience!!  :|   

    (Came back negative though  :) )


  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 2,922 Pioneering
    @MrsSJM hi thank you I dont  get bleeding and I recently started haveing tummy ache but not all the time I did phone my doctor the other day and she said it could be because I have recently had corona virus and I have spoken to them again today but they think its probably my lupus as I had the same problem before 

    Thank you for the information 
  • CressCress Member Posts: 445 Pioneering
    Thank you @MrsSJM that's good to know!
  • MrsSJMMrsSJM Member Posts: 2 Listener

     Oh bless you OverlyAnxious, it can be tricky!  We have seen many creative solutions from people!  Glad it came back all clear for you.

    Keep an eye on your symptoms Lisa, don't worry about going back to your doctor if you continue to feel worried about your tummy pain.  I hope you are recovering well from Covid x

  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    I have not yet had to provide a poo sample of my own (I have two dogs and have had cats in the past where they have had to have samples given to the vet) but the main thing that will/would prevent me is having to ask someone else to handle my poo and fill in the sample card for me if I am having issues with my hands or arms and am not able to do so myself - it is hard enough and embarrassing enough when needing to ask them to clean me after going to the loo either by using the toilet or after using a nappy without having to ask them to then do anything more than just wipe or shower me, and flush or wrap up and throw away the used articles.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Community Team Posts: 3,210 Disability Gamechanger
    That's understandable @Jean_Eveleigh. I think it's important to remember that medical and caring professionals are very used to supporting patients with cleaning themselves and that kind of thing. I know it's easier said than done, but try not to be too embarrassed! If you were to use the home testing kit, would a friend, family member, carer, or personal assistant be able to help you with getting and sending off a sample if you needed them to?
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