Patients will be sent a letter inviting them to take part in the bowel cancer screening programme. A small number of patients may need to ring the freephone number after receiving their letter as there are certain exceptions to screening, but the majority need not do anything. A week later patients will be sent the following:
- The faecal immunochemical test (FIT) kit
- A sample stick and sample bottle
- Two leaflets:
- A patient instruction leaflet
- Bowel cancer screening: the facts.
- Prepaid return envelope
Patients will need to collect a bowel sample and put this onto the sample stick, as described in the leaflet. After the sample has been collected and placed on the testing kit it is then returned to the Southern Hub in Guildford. The hub is the administration and laboratory centre for the Southern Screening Centres.
All received kits are examined and analysed within 48 hours and results are sent to patients and their GP practice. The FIT kit is analysed to detect traces of blood that may not be visible to the naked eye.
The FIT test is NOT a diagnostic test for cancer. Results will, however indicate whether further investigation is required.