Published on: 15 April 2024

April is national Bowel Cancer Awareness month.

If you’re aged 56 to 74, you should have received your bowel cancer screening kit through the post.

That’s because the NHS automatically sends a kit every two years to people in that age group who are registered with a GP in England. The programme is also expanding to include people over the age of 50.

Nine out of every 5,000 people who use their test kit turn out to have cancer. But if it’s spotted early, the chances of recovering from bowel cancer are higher.

The test can be done in the comfort of your home and only needs a tiny sample to test for signs of cancer.

So, keep an eye out for your bowel cancer testing kit in the post, or dig out the one that you put away in that drawer and forgot about. And then put it by the loo.

People aged 75 and over can request a kit by phoning the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

Don’t put it off. Find out more about bowel cancer screening at

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance is also urging people seek advice from their GP if they notice anything unusual which could be an early sign or symptom of cancer.

The Alliance’s recently launched Peace of Mind campaign is encouraging people to get checked out as early as possible if they notice or feel anything wrong.