Bowel Cancer Screening
Bowel Cancer Screening
Welcome to the Norwich Bowel Cancer Screening Programme
The Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital was one of the first sites in the country to introduce the national screening programme in 2006, to help detect bowel cancer at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be effective.
The Norwich Bowel Cancer Screening team:
- Clinical Lead – Dr Richard Tighe, Consultant Gastroenterologist
- Programme Manager – Sue Mapes
- Deputy Programme Manager – Michael Kent
- Lead Specialist Screening Practitioner – Anna Wordley
- Deputy Lead Specialist Screening Practitioner – Christine Jolly
- Specialist Screening Practitioners
- Programme Administrators
- Bowel Cancer Screening Colonoscopists
- Bowel Cancer Screening Radiologists
- Bowel Cancer Screening Pathologists
Bowel Screening test kits
Currently, all people between the ages of 56 and 74 who are registered with a GP are invited to take part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme every two years. There are plans to extend the age that screening commences down to age 50 by 2025.
You will be sent a simple test kit to complete in the privacy of your own home. The FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) kit involves collecting a small sample from a single bowel motion and, using a specially designed prepaid envelope, returning the kit to one of 5 regional hubs within the UK responsible for analysing the samples.
The laboratory analyses the samples, looking for tiny traces of blood that may be invisible to the naked eye. The test does not diagnose bowel cancer but gives an indication as to whether further investigations are required.
If blood is detected and you need further investigation, an appointment will be made for you to speak to a Specialist Screening Practitioner nurse to explain the test result and assess whether an investigative procedure is required.
Bowel Screening procedures
The best procedure for investigating the bowel is a colonoscopy. If you are suitable for a colonoscopy, an appointment will be booked for you.
Colonoscopy is a safe and well tolerated test where a camera is inserted into the bowel to view the bowel lining. Nine out of every ten procedures following a positive FIT kit do not show any evidence of cancer. Sometimes small growths (polyps) are seen and may be removed to reduce the risk of developing a bowel cancer in the future.
All colonoscopy procedures offered by the Norwich Bowel Cancer Screening Programme take place at the Endoscopy Unit in Norwich, which is located in the Quadram Institute, adjacent to the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.
If you are aged 75 and over and would still like to take part in bowel cancer screening, or if you would like any information regarding the test kits, you can call the Freephone Helpline on 0800 707 60 60.
For queries regarding your bowel cancer screening appointments and procedures please contact the Norwich Bowel Cancer Screening Programme on 01603 286166.
If you are concerned about any of the following symptoms, please contact your GP. Do not wait until your next bowel screening test:
- Blood in the stools (faeces)
- A change in bowel habit (E.g. looser, more frequent stool)
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating
Further information on the Bowel Cancer Screening programme can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/bowel-cancer-screening-programme-overview#the-screening-test