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Bowel screening programme

(4 Posts)
Kaylasmum49 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:52:00

Hi, I turn 50 this year and I live in Scotland so will be expecting the bowel screening kit anytime soon.

Just wondering why the age in England is 60, it's seems strange that there is a ten year difference.

KurriKurri Wed 14-Sep-16 16:27:43

In my area (east of england) you are offered a bowel scope screening at 55 (I had mine last year) then you start getting the screening kits at 60.
I think it varies over the country. I think one of the problems they face is getting people to take up the tests. I had to answer a lot of surveys about my scope - how things could be improved, what was good/bad etc etc.

A lot of people apparently just throw the screening kits away - madness !

Which part of Scotland do you live in? (don't answer if you'd rather not) - my sister lives in the Borders and hasn't had a screening kit yet - she is nearly 60.

Kaylasmum49 Wed 14-Sep-16 17:00:25

Hi, I'm in the north east of Scotland. I just found it surprising that there was such a large age difference in the testing. If I lived in England I would be quite concerned at having to wait until I'm 60 for the kit.

I've heard about the bowel scope, where do you get that done?

Also I've been researching the bowel testing kits and outcomes and I was surprised to read that there are a lot of false positives with this test which means that a large number of people are going on to have unnecessary colonoscopies. Also, that 1 in 1000 people having colonoscopies have some kind of issue, perforation of the bowel and even in some cases death. I have health anxiety and this is quite unsettling for me. This was on an nhs website so I assume it must be correct.

Any thoughts on that?

KurriKurri Wed 14-Sep-16 18:18:44

I had my bowel scope done at the gastro-ent, dept of my local hospital. They do them in the evenings.

I was given warnings before my scope that there are certain risks associated with it (mainly perforation of bowel) but that they were unlikely. All was fine with mine - it takes about ten minutes max. They do a sigmoidoscopy rather than a colonoscopy - so don;t go as far up the bowel. And I think if they saw any problems they would ask you back for a full colonoscopy.

With the screening kit - One of my friends did it and it came back positive, so they asked her to do it again, - again positive - so she did it a third time and again positive - so she went in for colonoscopy (turned out to be polyps - and they removed them - she was fine) so I think they do just bring you in for the colonoscopy after one positive result on the screening test only if you repeatedly get positives. And of course positives can be caused by lots of things other than cancer as (i believe) they test for blood in faeces. And lots of non sinister things can cause that.

Remember that the figure of one in 1000 having a problem with the colonoscopy will include people who do have a serious problem with their bowel and are very poorly anyway, so are more likely to have problems with the test than a healthy person.

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