Easy read information about the bowel cancer screening programme

These Easy Read guides tell you more about the cancer screening programme and what to do if you think you have any symptoms.

Speak to your doctor if you have a health worry

If you have had any of these signs or symptoms you must speak to your doctor:

  • a pain that you have had for 3 or more weeks 
  • a lump which you did not have before 
  • blood in your poo or wee

It might not be anything serious, but if it is cancer, finding it early makes it easier to treat.

Speak to your doctor, they are here to see you safely. Find out more at nhs.uk/cancersymptoms


What is bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer is a type of disease which some people may get during their lifetime.

It can be very serious.

Your bowel is inside your body and connects your stomach to your bottom.

What is bowel cancer screening?

Bowel cancer screening means testing people for signs of bowel cancer to see if they have it.

This is offered to all people in the UK who are aged 60 to 74 and are registered with their GP.

Bowel cancer screening helps find any problems earlier, which means they can be treated quicker before they get more serious.

You will be sent a test to do at home and it is your choice if you want to do it or not.

This NHS easy read guide explains more about bowel cancer screening and what to do as part of the home test (PDF).

What is a colonoscopy?

Some people may be invited for a colonoscopy once they have done the bowel cancer screening test at home.

This usually happens if traces of blood have been found in your test sample.

A colonoscopy looks inside your bowel to help find bowel cancer.

The colonoscopy is usually done at a hospital.

Easy Read: What to do if you have a health worry
Easy guide: bowel cancer screening
Easy guide: having a colonoscopy

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