Bowel cancer screening during lockdown: at home tests, delivered to your door

The NHS is under continued pressure due to the ongoing pandemic, resulting in non-urgent services being cancelled or postponed. Coupled with an inclination to ignore symptoms to avoid burdening the NHS and concerns over catching coronavirus in health settings, thousands of people are missing vital cancer screening appointments.

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal or colon cancer, is the 4th most common cancer in the UK with around 42,300 cases diagnosed each year. It is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death.¹ Nevertheless, bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed early. Almost all (98%) people with bowel cancer will survive their disease for one year or more when diagnosed at its earliest stage, compared with around 4 in 10 (44%) people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.

Some NHS cancer screening services have been restarted but hundreds of thousands of bowel cancer screenings were delayed in 2020, on top of the backlog of those waiting for further investigation following a positive result. CRUK reported 200,000 people were not being screened every week of the April-July 2020 lockdown for breast, bowel and cervical cancer resulting in nearly 8,000 less people diagnosed with a screen-detected cancer in 2020 compared to 2019.² For those services that have resumed, capacity is inevitably reduced in order to comply with essential safety measures and is inadequate to manage the enormous backlog of patients waiting to be screened or diagnosed. 

If you are over the age of 45 and have missed your NHS bowel screening, or you just want to keep a regular check on changes in your bowel, Check4Cancer’s bowel cancer screening tests are available and can be delivered direct to your door. BowelCheck is a simple test at-home quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Test (qFIT) which takes minutes and will give you results in just five working days. It really is that simple and, importantly, it’s accessible even in lockdown.

Many of us are experiencing a ‘groundhog COVID-19 day’. It’s tough to stay motivated when you’re uncertain of what the future looks like. It’s likely that we will all experience the feeling of helplessness, wishing there was something tangible we could achieve that would help ourselves and others at this critical time. At-home testing is something that you can control. Bowel cancer has a 90% chance of being cured if it’s caught at the earliest stage. If you want to take checking for cancer into your own hands – then BowelCheck is a great way to achieve this.

  1. Order a BowelCheck home testing kit today
  2. Produce a stool sample at home and put it in the sample pot provided
  3. Post to the laboratory for screening using the pre-paid envelope
  4. Receive your results in 5 days

You can also make some positive lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk of bowel cancer during lockdown. Bowel cancer has been linked to obesity and there appears to be a stronger link in men. Exercise is not only great for your mental health during lockdown but can also help to maintain a healthy weight. Reducing alcohol intake and quitting smoking can also help reduce your risk, alongside a diet low in red or processed meat and high in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fibre.

You can’t afford to wait with cancer, so don’t delay, check yourself today. Check4Cancer’s at-home qFIT test kit for bowel cancer screening can be delivered direct to your door. Take control of your own health, checking for cancer in lockdown could save your life.

About Check4Cancer’s qFIT test

Cancer screening has been an essential part of NHS policy to improve early cancer detection in the UK since the late 1980s, and at-home testing is currently recommended by the NHS for bowel cancer screening. Check4Cancer is a trusted provider of evidence-based cancer screening tests to corporate, insured and self-pay clients and has a range of at-home screening tests for bowel, cervical, lung and prostate cancer. The qFIT test for bowel screening is available to men and women aged 45+.

The Quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Test (qFIT) looks for the quantity of human blood in the bowel motion following a simple and easy to use at-home collection system. This is different to other FIT tests as it measures the amount of blood and also includes a risk assessment making it more reliable than other tests. If positive, patients will require further investigation that will usually involve colonoscopy, a telescopic examination of the large bowel.

Further information about Check4Cancer’s at-home qFIT test for bowel screening can be found on the Check4Cancer website.