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Cancer Advice - from leading UK Cancer Specialists
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Screening for colon and rectal cancer

Faecal occult blood kit
Faecal occult blood kit



Screening is recommended in those patients who have a positive family history of colorectal cancer (see the section on 'Incidence'). Regular colonoscopies and rectal examinations should start in early adult or even late teenage life where there is a significant genetic risk.


The routine use of faecal occult blood screening (the examination of three stool specimens by a smear test that picks up traces of blood mixed in with the stool) for everyone between the ages of 60 an 69 is being rolled out in the UK (NHS Bowel Screening Programme) because it has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%.

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