Health

‘Poo in the post’ test could save your life | Letters


Your article about Deborah James (From stigma to spotlight: Deborah James puts focus on bowel cancer, 13 May) rightly pointed out the importance of seeing a GP about worrying symptoms. However, many people have no symptoms at all until their cancer has reached an advanced stage. The article failed to mention the “poo in the post” test (the NHS’s bowel screening programme), which can detect early bowel cancers even in people without symptoms, as it did in my case. I had surgery at the beginning of the pandemic and am now free of cancer.

Anyone over the age of 60 is invited to participate, and this is gradually being expanded to include younger people. Fewer than three out of four eligible people currently take up this opportunity, for a variety of reasons, but the test has recently been made much simpler and takes less time to do than a lateral flow test. It sounds distasteful and embarrassing, but it can be a life-saver.
Julie Platt
Bath

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