Bowel Cancer UK welcomes the introduction of a new bowel cancer test in Scotland which simplifies the sample collection process in a bid to increase participation in Scotland’s national bowel screening programme and save even more lives.
The new FIT home screening test (faecal immunochemical test), that will see participants returning just one bowel motion sample instead of the three samples required for the current test, will be introduced over the next two years to help boost uptake in the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme from its current level of 56.1per cent.
The announcement of the test was made by Health Secretary Shona Robison who joined cancer clinicians, charities and patients to mark the three year anniversary of the Scottish Government’s £30 million Detect Cancer Early (DCE) programme, which has received an additional £9 million commitment for 2015/16.
Existing tests have proved hugely valuable in detecting cancer early and remain the most effective way of detecting bowel cancer in its earliest stages.
It is therefore essential that Scots aged 50-74 continue to complete and return the test they receive through their door during the transition period.
Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said,
“We very much welcome the introduction of the new FIT home screening kit which is a positive step for Scotland in encouraging even more people to participate in screening.
“It’s a move that we would like to see replicated in other parts of the UK.
Professor Robert Steele, Director of the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme, added:
“The bold approach of DCE has helped break down barriers people face when it comes to talking about ‘down there’ and resulted in even more bowel screening kits being requested and returned than ever before.
“It’s fair to say that Scotland has taken several strides in the last three years towards making bowel screening a social norm.
“We expect the introduction of the new bowel screening test will continue to drive uptake rates in the national screening programme, which will of course mean saving more lives.”