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Home screening test to detect signs of bowel cancer

The home screening test is a simple way to check for a level of blood in your poo (stool). It is also known as the faecal immunochemical test or ‘FIT test’.

Blood in your poo does not tell you if you have bowel cancer. But it might tell you that you need more tests.

Getting the BowelScreen home test

You must be on the BowelScreen register to get a test.

If your details are on the BowelScreen register and you are age 59 to 69:

  1. We send you a screening invitation between your 59th and 61st birthday.
  2. You reply to the invitation and give your consent.
  3. We send you a test in the post with instructions on how to do the test.
  4. You return it to us.

How to do the test

The home test can be done at any time of day or night. You do not need to change your normal routine.

To do the test:

  1. Collect a sample by scraping the sampling stick on your stool until the end of the stick is covered.
  2. Put the sample stick in the tube.
  3. Seal the tube in the plastic bag.
  4. Add the date when you collected the sample to the outside of the bag.
  5. Use the pre-paid envelope to send the sample back for testing.

Post your test back to us the same day you take your sample, or the next day.

Your test results will be sent to you within 4 weeks. If you have registered your GP's details, they will also receive a copy of your results.

BowelScreen home test instructions video

This video shows the steps involved in taking a free bowel screening home test.

People who need additional support (access officer)

If you or someone you care for has a disability, or needs additional support to take part in bowel screening, we can help.

Email or freephone 1800 45 45 55 to speak to the access officer.

Bowel screening for people with additional needs

Page last reviewed: 20 October 2022
Next review due: 20 October 2025