If you live in England:

Everyone aged 60 to 74 years who is registered with a GP and lives in England or the Isle of Man is automatically sent an NHS bowel cancer home testing kit every two years.  

The programme is expanding so that everyone aged 50 to 59 years will be eligible for screening. This is happening gradually over four years and started in April 2021 with 56 year olds, so you may receive a test before you're 60.

If you're 75 or over, you can ask for a kit every two years by phoning the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60. 

The screening kit used in England is the faecal immunochemical test kit – known as the FIT kit.  You collect a small sample of stool on a small plastic stick and put it into the sample bottle and post it to a lab for testing.   More details can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer-screening/ 

If blood is found in your sample you'll be offered an appointment to discuss having a colonoscopy to look for the cause.

A colonoscopy is where a thin tube with a camera inside is passed into your bottom to look for signs of bowel cancer.  The specialist uses a thin flexible tube (a colonoscope) with a tiny camera on the end to look inside your bowel and remove any small growths called polyps. They also use the colonoscope to check the bowel for cancer.

A CT scan is available through the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme if you are deemed unfit for colonoscopy by clinical assessment.