Bowel Screening

Scottish Bowel Screening Programme

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland after lung and breast cancer. Every year, almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with the disease.

About the screening programme

The Scottish Bowel Cancer Screening Programme will invite all men and women between the ages of 50 and 74 years who are registered with a GP. It is therefore vital that you inform us of your latest address so the co-ordinators can send you regular invitations for screening.

Other eligible individuals who are not registered with a General Practice such as prisoners, armed forces, homeless and individuals in long-stay institutions will also be able to participate.

How will the screening programme be run?

All men and women aged between 50 and 74 will receive a Faecal Occult Blood test (FOBt) kit by post to their home address. The kit is completed at home and returned to the national Bowel Screening Centre for Scotland, which is based in Dundee at King’s Cross Hospital.

The centre tests all the completed screening kits and then notifies:

  • all participants of their results
  • all GP practices of positive FOBt results
  • all NHS Boards of positive results requiring further investigations.

For patients aged over 74 years of age, you can self refer to the bowel screening centre and they will post a free kit out to you - please telephone FREEPHONE 0800 0121 833.

Although bowel cancer is common, it is also highly treatable if detected early. If we find bowel cancer early enough, there is a more than 90% chance of successful treatment. The sooner it is caught, the easier it is to treat.

For further information on bowel screening and how to take the test, visit NHS Inform -

or from the Scottish Bowel Screening Helpline: FREEPHONE 0800 0121 833 or visit their website:

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