What is a Bowel Cancer Test?
Our Bowel Cancer Test is designed to identify possible signs of bowel disease or cancer. This test can detect small amounts of blood in your faeces (poo) which you would not normally see or be aware of.
Why consider a Bowel Cancer Test?
If you have had signs of bleeding, you may want to consider taking this test.
Many bowel abnormalities, which may develop into cancer over time, are more likely to bleed than normal tissue. If there is blood in your stool, this can indicate the presence of abnormalities in the bowel. If cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, treatments are likely to be more effective.
How does this test work?
This test requires a stool sample. Once you have collected your sample, place it in the pre-paid envelope provided and send it to our accredited UK laboratory for fast and accurate analysis.
What tests will you run on my sample?
- Quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Test (qFIT). This test will detect hidden or ‘occult’ blood in stool samples. It can detect even the tiniest levels of blood making it highly accurate and effective
Important to note:
Specimens should not be collected during or within three days of a menstrual period, or if you suffer from bleeding haemorrhoids or blood in the urine.
Alcohol, aspirin and other medications taken in excess may cause gastrointestinal irritation resulting in occult bleeding. Such substances should be discontinued at least 48 hours prior to testing.
No dietary restrictions are necessary before using the the Bowel Health Test, as unlike guaiac assays, the accuracy of the test is not affected by your diet.
What if my results show blood in my stool?
If your test returns a positive result for blood in your stool, you should see a doctor about the results. Your result will be quantitative, meaning you will see a number and an explanation of what this means.
- Not detected: no blood detected
- <4: below the lowest quantifiable level, but traces of blood detected
- 4-9: Blood detected and quantifiable but below the level considered abnormal by NICE guidelines
- 10-200: Patients with a result in this range require further investigation according to NICE guidelines
- >200: Above the measurable range – further investigation required urgently
A result indicating blood means you may have bleeding in your digestive tract, but it does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Other conditions that may produce this result include ulcers, haemorrhoids, polyps and benign tumours.
Further follow-up procedures may be necessary to find the source of the bleeding and ensure the success of treatment.
Bowel Cancer can be hereditary – do you know your risk?
According to Cancer Research UK…
- More than 20% of bowel cancers can be linked to your genetics
- Bowel cancer risk is more than doubled in people with a parent, sibling or child who has the disease.
- The risk of developing Bowel adenomas (polyps which can turn cancerous) is 70% higher in people with a parent, sibling or child with bowel cancer.
A simple saliva home test kit can determine your genetic risk of developing cancer, including bowel cancer. Knowing your risk means you can take steps to monitor your health, improve your diet or lifestyle, and start regular screening with your local hospital.
Remember – if you have a genetic predisposition to cancer, your children have a 50% chance of it too.
Click the link to find out more about our Genetic Cancer DNA tests and order online today.