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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Bowel Cancer Screening

Free telephone helpline: 0800 707 60 60

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

Bowel Cancer Screening consultants

Bowel cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world and the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK.

More than 41,500 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK. That is equivalent to someone being diagnosed every 15 minutes. If it is detected at an early stage, before symptoms appear, bowel cancer is easier to treat and there is a better chance of surviving it.

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme was introduced across England between 2006 and 2010. In January 2010, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust successfully became a part of the national programme, providing screening services at the John Radcliffe Hospital and the Horton General Hospital.

How does screening work?

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme offers screening to all men and women aged 60-74. People in this age group will automatically be sent an invitation, followed by the screening kit (guaiac Faecal Occult Blood, or 'gFOB' test) directly to their home.

Your GP will provide your contact details, so it is important he or she has your correct name and address.

After you complete the test in the privacy of your own home, you will need to return the gFOB test in the pre-paid sealed envelope provided. The gFOB test checks for presence of blood in the stool sample, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

Most people who complete the gFOB test will not need any further investigation and will be invited again in two years' time until they reach 74.

If you have not yet received an invitation for bowel cancer screening or you are 75 or over, you can request a test kit by calling the Freephone helpline:

  • 0800 707 60 60

Screening is for people without symptoms. If you are concerned about any symptoms, please contact your GP.

What do my results mean?

Most people (98 percent) who complete the gFOB test kit will receive a 'normal' result. A normal result means there was no blood detected in the gFOB test kit.

This does not guarantee that you do not have or will never develop bowel cancer in the future, so it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.

If you have received a 'normal' result, you will not require any further investigations. You will automatically be offered bowel cancer screening again in two years until the age of 74.

Approximately two percent of people who complete the gFOB test kit will have an 'abnormal' result. This means there may have been blood detected in the gFOB test kit. It is not a diagnosis of cancer, but it does mean you will require further investigation. Some reasons for an 'abnormal' test result may be bleeding bowel polyps, fissures or other conditions, such as haemorrhoids (piles).

If you have received an 'abnormal' gFOB test result, you will be offered an appointment with one of our Specialist Screening Practitioner (SSP) nurses at your local hospital. Your SSP nurse will assess your suitability for a diagnostic colonoscopy, which is an examination of the lining of the large bowel (colon) using a tiny camera on the end of a flexible tube, and book your appointment.

Colonoscopy investigations take place in the Endoscopy Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital or Horton General Hospital.

Staff

  • Dr James East
    Consultant Gastroenterologist and Bowel Cancer Screening Clinical Director
  • Dr Tony Ellis
    Consultant Gastroenterologist and Bowel Cancer Screening Colonoscopist Lead
  • Mr Richard Guy
    Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Accredited Screening Colonoscopist
  • Dr Elizabeth Bird-Lieberman
    Consultant Gastroenterologist and Accredited Screening Colonoscopist
  • Dr Rebecca Palmer
    Consultant Gastroenterologist and Accredited Screening Colonoscopist
  • Dr Lai-Mun Wang
    Consultant Pathologist Lead
  • Dr Horace D'Costa
    Consultant Radiologist Lead
  • Terry Tran-Nguyen
    Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Manager
  • Sue Williams
    Lead Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Sue Fraser
    Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Geraldine Smith
    Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Claire Seccull
    Specialist Screening Practitioner
  • Lewis Charlett
    Lead Administration Officer
  • Lorraine Bruns
    Administration Officer
  • Karen Clark
    Administration Officer

Find us and contact us

  • Oxfordshire Bowel Cancer Screening Centre Office: 01295 229834
  • Email: BCSOxfordshire@ouh.nhs.uk
  • Free telephone helpline: 0800 707 60 60

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