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If you have any other questions about bowel screening you could call us|, or talk to your GP.
If you’re younger than the screening age but are worried about bowel cancer| because of your family history you can talk it over with your GP. They can refer you for specialist advice and monitoring outside of the screening programme.
You don’t have to take part in the bowel screening programme and can decline the invitation when you receive it. If you decide not to take part, you can either simply not complete the FOB kit, or contact the helpline number on the kit to explain that you don’t wish to take part. This means you won’t receive any reminder letters.
It’s been suggested that certain foods, such as red meat and some vegetables, can react with the FOB test and give a false result. However, there is no clear evidence that your diet will affect the result of your FOB test and you don’t need to change your diet before collecting your samples.
All NHS screening programmes have strict quality assurance guidelines. All of the FOB test kits are bar coded with a unique number. Before the test kits are sent out, the bar codes are linked with a person whose records are held on the national call and recall system. This makes all FOB test kits clearly identifiable as belonging to a specific person.
Your GP is not directly involved in the bowel cancer screening programme, but they will be sent a copy of your results.
More commonly asked questions, and their answers, about bowel cancer screening are available on the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme website|.
Content last reviewed: 1 January 2013
Next planned review: 2015
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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