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    Hi there all, i hope we are well.

    My name is Johnson and i work for the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme based at Manchester Royal Infirmary. My role is to increase uptake to bowel screening, as in Manchester we have some really low uptake rates. Some areas in Manchester have an uptake rate of less than 30%!! This is shocking as more people should be aware of the NHS bowel screening programme. It is even more shocking that men tend to not engage with this NHS screening programme and MEN are more likely to be diagnosed than compared to women. As a result, we need to really engage as many people as possible to ensure they complete their home screening kit.

    Everyone in Manchester who is over the age of 56 should receive an NHS home testing kit through their postbox. Basically, if you are registered with a GP and aged from 56 to 74, you will receive one these kits every two years.

    You basically need to provide a very small poo sample in the text kit test tube provided – it is really easy and hygienic to do. Once you have the sample in your test tube, you just pop it into the pre-paid envelope and send back to the NHS bowel screening Hub for them to check your sample. You will then receive a letter through the post to tell you if your sample is positive or negative.

    If it is negative, you will receive another kit in 2 years time.

    If it is positive then dont worry – this is NOT a cancer diagnosis but they have found very small traces of blood in your bowels. This could be from bleeding gums, piles or other unknown reasons that might be related to your bowels. What we then need to do is ask one of our Specialist Nurses to contact you and speak to you about coming into a hospital for a colonoscopy.

    A colonoscopy is basically a small camera that goes up your bottom to have a look at your bowels. Basically, there is no way we can look at your bowels without going in with a camera. Dont worry the colonoscopy is fairly straight forward and painless (i had one about 3 years old). Its the bowel preparation drink that you need to be aware off!

    This bowel prep drink is seriously strong. I had to drink about 2 litres of it and it tasted disgusting!!! But before i could even get half way through it, I was on the toilet emptying out my bowels! I certainly felt a lot lighter, almost felt better than going to the gym but on a serious note, i could not eat anything before the colonoscopy procedure so i was really really hungry.

    Luckily for me they didnt find anything which was great but if the Consultant had found something they will remove it there and then and take it away to have a look at. So, the benefits of having a colonoscopy is not just to have a look inside but to remove anything that might end turning into something cancerous.

    If detected early – you have a really high chance of fully recovering from bowel cancer. That is why the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme is a great way to prevent anything from developing, so we can keep on top of things so that we can remind healthy and free of cancer.

    For those who are over the age of 74, you can still get a kit every 2 years. You just need to call 0800 707 6060 to request one. You can also call this number if you have any questions or concerns, and they should be able to help.

    Alternatively, i am also here to help so if you have any worries are concerns, please share and hopefully i can help.

    If you need more information about Manchester’s bowel cancer screening programme, please see the following link:

    Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

    Thank you for reading this post! Takecare all, Johnson