A Stonehaven couple who regularly do their bowel screening test have become the latest people to join the ‘bowel movement’ sweeping Scotland.
Ged and Anne Adams, both aged 57, today backed the drive to encourage more Scots to return their bowel screening tests, as statistics show that people are 14 times more likely to survive bowel cancer if it’s found early.
The bowel test remains the most effective way to find bowel cancer early when the signs are often hidden.
More than half a million people in Scotland do their bowel screening test every year 1. The test is sent through the post and offered to those aged 50-74 every two years.
Although more people are returning their tests than ever before, the Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early campaign is targeting those who put it off.
Latest figures show, on average 46,000 bowel screening tests are returned in September, which is just over 1,500 tests per day 2, prompting the call for people to do theirs as they’re not alone.
Ged knows the importance of taking part in bowel screening - he lost his mum to bowel cancer three months before he married Anne in 1990.
The father of two said: “My mum lived in a time when a cure wasn’t something you thought about. The bowel screening test didn’t exist and cancer wasn’t something people spoke openly about.
“Times have moved on since then and we know a lot more about the disease and the benefits of early detection through screening.
“Having watched my mum go through cancer, I’m now thankful we have such a thing as bowel screening that can detect symptoms you otherwise might never know you have. It couldn’t be easier for people to do their test, especially considering it’s delivered to your house and you can do it in your own time.”
Retired pharmacist Anne says she’s never had a single symptom but always finds the time to take the test.
She said: “As a pharmacist I met people all the time that needed to take certain medications or go for regular check-ups at their GP surgery so for me I’ve always tried to lead by example. It’s great that more people are realising the benefits of bowel screening, even though it’s not the nicest thing to do.
“I get a sense of reassurance when I have done the test and sent it away. I look at it as a positive, like getting a check-up from my GP.”
Emma Anderson, Head of Scotland, Bowel Cancer UK said: “In September, an average of over 1,500 bowel screening tests are returned every day in Scotland, but we know that not everyone who receives their test does it.
“Bowel cancer is very treatable, and even curable, if diagnosed at an early stage, so it is important to do your test and not delay when it comes through your letter box.”
For more information, or to find out how to request a replacement test, visit getcheckedearly.org