Published on: 2 April 2024

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire is reminding people to return bowel cancer testing kits as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, and health bosses in the two counties are asking everyone who has been sent been sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit to complete the test. That’s because when bowel cancer is caught early, people are nine times more likely to survive. 

The test is simple to complete and can be done in the privacy of your own bathroom. Anyone aged 60 to 74, who lives in England and is registered with a GP practice will be sent a test in the post automatically, every two years. NHS England is also extending this to include all 50 to 59 year-olds by 2025.  

So, the NHS is asking anyone who is sent a bowel cancer screening test to remember to complete it. Put it by the loo. Don’t put it off. Your next poo could save your life. 

The screening kits are sent to those most at risk- but it is important to remember that everyone should be vigilant for the signs of Bowel Cancer.

If you are bleeding from your bottom, have blood in your poo, or there’s a notable change in the frequency of your bowel movements it could be a sign of bowel cancer. Other symptoms include losing weight or feeling tired a lot and not being sure why or feeling a pain in your tummy. If you are experiencing any of these, regardless of age, then seek medical help immediately.

Dr Will Taylor, Medical Director for NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire said: “Screening is one of the best ways to diagnose bowel cancer early, or in some cases prevent it from developing in the first place. 

“The FIT kit offers eligible people a chance to quickly and safely complete a test for bowel cancer at home and ensure that more cases are detected earlier.  

“I would urge everyone who is sent a kit to return their test as quickly as they can, because this can detect the early signs of bowel cancer and ensure that anyone affected can get treatment for the disease as soon as possible.” 

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and more than 16,500 people die from it – more than 5 per day. The chances of surviving bowel cancer are much higher when it is found early. 


Learn more about Bowel cancer testing on the NHS website here: Bowel cancer - NHS (