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FAQs

Will my piles (haemorrhoids) affect the home testing kit?

You can still be screened if you have piles (haemorrhoids), although you're more likely to get a result that requires you to have further tests.

This result may be caused by blood from your piles or it could be due to polyps or cancer. If blood is found in your poo sample, you'll be offered another test called a colonoscopy to look for the cause.

Can I help someone I care for use the home testing kit?

If you care for someone who needs assistance using the home testing kit, you can help them if they understand the screening process and give you permission.

Speak to a GP for advice if they do not have the capacity to give their consent – for example, if they:

  • do not understand the screening process
  • are unable to make a decision about being screened
  • are unable to communicate their wishes

Their GP will have access to the person's medical records and knowledge of their overall medical health. They can advise you about what may be in the person's best interests.

For more information on making a decision in someone's best interests, see Making decisions: a guide for family, friends and other unpaid carers (PDF, 547kb).

Should I use the home testing kit if I've had bowel surgery?

Yes, you should consider being screened if you have a working bowel.

Screening is only not helpful if:

  • you've had surgery to remove all of your bowel
  • you have a stoma bag (colostomy bag) to collect your poo – if this is only temporary, it's a good idea to continue with screening once the bag is removed

If you've had bowel surgery and you're not sure if screening is suitable for you, check with a GP or call the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

Can I have screening for bowel cancer privately?

Bowel cancer screening is available from private healthcare providers but it's not the same as NHS screening.

The NHS programme cares for you through the whole screening process, including any further treatment and care you might need.

With private screening, the care you may need following screening may not be available from the provider.

For more information, see a guide for people thinking of having a private screening test on GOV.UK.