Is your bowel cancer screening kit sitting at the back of a drawer?

If you’re 56 to 74, you should have received your bowel cancer screening kit through the post. That’s because the NHS automatically sends a kit every two years to people in that age group.

The programme is expanding to make it available to everyone aged from 50 to 74 years. This is happening gradually over 4 years and started in April 2021.

Nine out of every 5,000 people who use their test kit turn out to have cancer. But if it’s spotted early, the chances of recovering from bowel cancer are higher. The test can be done in the comfort of your home and only needs a tiny sample of poo to test for signs of cancer.

So, keep an eye out for your bowel cancer testing kit in the post, or dig out the one that you put away in that drawer and forgot about. And then put it by the loo. Don’t put it off.

Find out more about bowel cancer screening at

Watch our animated video about bowel screening:

Listen to a patient talk about how bowel screening saved his life: