Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in NI. Around 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with bowel cancer and around 430 people die from the disease. Early detection is key to improved survival rates and the recently introduced FIT home screening kit is key to this. It is also a good idea to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer.

Symptoms of bowel cancer; blood in your poo, a persistent change in your bowel habits, unintentional weight loss, persistent tummy pain.

If you are aged between 60-74 you should automatically be sent the FIT home screening kit every 2 years. It is really important you complete and return the FIT kit as regular bowel screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%.

Some of the resources used in the bowel session of WRDA’s screening awareness programme

You can also reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer by making some lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active. It is also a good idea to find out if you have any family history with the disease if you can (find out more about this here).

Bowel cancer - reduce your risk. Eat a high fibre diet, eat less processed and red meat, maintain a healthy weight, keep active, drink in moderation, don't smoke.

WRDA’s ground breaking Breast, Cervical and Bowel Screening Awareness programme was developed to tackle the low uptake of screening invitations by women living in some areas of NI. The programme is delivered by Community Facilitators who have completed our accredited Level 3 Certificate in Learning and Development. The bowel session is available to both men and women and like the breast and cervical sessions can be fully tailored to meet the needs of groups with additional needs such as sight impairment, learning disability or non-English speakers.

Before taking part in our programme only 53% of men and women surveyed said they knew what a FOB kit was (This was the predecessor to the new FIT kit). This increased to 99% after the training with 95% of those surveyed saying they would now use the kit. The programme is available free for community groups. To find out more or book a session email Katherine Robertson for Community Groups or Paula Murray for groups with additional support needs.

Public Health Agency Logo.

WRDA’s Breast, Cervical and Bowel Screening Awareness Programme is funded by the Public Health Agency