Your feelings about bowel screening

You may feel frightened if you're told you have an abnormal bowel screening result. You may immediately think you have cancer but it's important to remember that most people who have an abnormal FOB test result will not have bowel cancer. For every 10 people with an abnormal result who are offered a colonoscopy, just one person will have bowel cancer.

Understandably, you may find screening for bowel cancer embarrassing. Collecting the samples in the privacy of your own home might make it easier and less embarrassing for you.

If you feel that you need support, you can contact Macmillan's Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.

Back to Bowel screening

The bowel

The bowel is part of our digestive system and is made up of the small bowel and the large bowel.

What to do with your FOB test kit

This test checks bowel motions for tiny amount of ‘hidden blood’. It is not a test for cancer, but can indicate whether further tests are needed to examine the bowel.


A colonoscopy is a way of examining the lining of the bowel from the inside.

CT colonography

This test uses a CT scanner to create a picture of the bowel.