Bowel cancer screening

Summary

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK. NHS Digital runs separate systems in England and the Isle of Man which identify eligible people to be screened. The systems invite those eligible to participate in bowel screening.

Bowel cancer screening services

NHS Digital runs 2 services:

  • the Bowel Cancer Screening System for England
  • the Isle of Man Bowel Cancer Screening System

Both these services do the following:

  • maintain organisation-related information, for example clinical contacts and system users
  • manage the lists of people eligible for screening
  • send invitations and manage appointments 
  • send out test kits
  • record test results
  • provide operational and strategic reports 

In addition, the English BCSS also runs the NHS bowel scope screening service which is not offered in the Isle of Man.

The screening programme

Why it’s offered

Bowel cancer is a common type of cancer in both men and women. About 1 in 20 people will get it during their lifetime. 

Most people diagnosed with it are over the age of 60. Screening can help detect bowel cancer at an early stage, when it’s easier to treat. 

It can also be used to help check for and remove small growths in the bowel called polyps, which can turn into cancer over time. 
 

Who it’s offered to

England

If you are a resident in England and registered with an NHS doctor, you’ll be automatically invited for a one-off bowel scope screening test at the age of 55. At 60 you will be invited for screening using a home testing kit. This is offered every two years up to the age of 74 (inclusive).

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man Bowel Screening Service does not offer the one-off bowel scope screening test at the age of 55.

If you are a resident in the Isle of Man and registered with an Isle of Man doctor, you will automatically be invited to do a home testing kit every two years from the age of 60 up to 74 (inclusive).  

Full details of the screening programme

Full bowel cancer screening details for patients.

For those interested in how services are commissioned, standards for the programme, education, training and quality assurance, full details are available from Public Health England

Request access to the Bowel Cancer Screening System

Hub and screening centre users

The data user certificate needs to be completed to request access to either the Bowel Cancer Screening System for England or the Isle of Man Bowel Cancer Screening System.

The completed form needs to be authorised and sent by the relevant senior information risk owner or information asset owner to: bcssbureauservice@nhs.net

Public Health England quality assurance (QA) users 

The Public Health England data user certificate needs to be completed to request access to the Bowel Cancer Screening System for England. 

The completed form needs to be authorised and sent by the relevant senior information risk owner or information asset owner to: bcssbureauservice@nhs.net 

Note: This form is not relevant for the Isle of Man Bowel Cancer Screening Service.

Request removal of access for users of the Bowel Cancer Screening System

To request the removal of access for any individual to either the Bowel Cancer Screening System for England or the Isle of Man Bowel Cancer Screening System a revocation form needs to be completed.

The completed form should be returned to: bcssbureauservice@nhs.net

 

Contact details

National Helpdesk Exeter
Email: exeter.helpdesk@nhs.net
Phone: 0300 303 4034