NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme
NHS Bowel Cancer Screening ProgrammeA national UK programme for detecting colorectal cancer at an early and more treatable stage through biennial testing for faecal occult blood (FOB).
The patient receives a test kit by mail with simple instructions:
(2) Select a sample;
(3) Put on FOB target ring;
(4) Mail to testing hub.
Downsides of FOB testing as a cancer screen
(1) It is relatively insensitive to early—i.e., the most treatable—cancers; postcode inequalities are common.
(2) Not all early colorectal cancers bleed. More elegant (and more expensive) tests which detect abnormal DNA in stool samples may be up to 4 times more sensitive than FOB testing to early bowel cancer.