Get FIT for 2022: The easy at-home bowel cancer screening

Generic stock photo to illustrate abdominal pain and bowel symptoms. See PA Feature HEALTH Bowel Can

A faecal immunochemical test - or FIT - is a free bowel cancer screening for those aged over 60 - Credit: Press Association Images

New Years: A time of resolutions and pledges to start the start the  year on the right foot.

And with self-care at the centre of most resolutions - why don't you get FIT for 2022?

A FIT - or faecal immunochemical test - is a free bowel cancer screening for those aged over 60 which is automatically sent to 60-74-year-olds in the post.

Around one in 15 men and one in 18 women will have bowel cancer in their lifetime; with over 42,000 people being diagnosed and 268,000 living with bowel cancer in the UK each year.

Although more commonly found in those aged 50 and over, around 2,500 people under 50 are diagnosed each year.

If you have symptoms - which can include blood in your poo, a change in your normal bowel habits, a pain or lump in your abdomen, weight loss or tiredness for no obvious reason - then make an appointment with your doctor or nurse practitioner without delay. 

So, let’s get rid of the taboo about poo. The simple - and life-saving - test is easier than you may think, and most of us are able to do this independently, and in the privacy of our own bathroom.

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Once a small sample is collected in a bottle, simply put it into a prepaid envelope and pop it into the post as soon as you can. Results can be expected within two weeks.

To request a FIT test or for more information about bowel screening, go online or call the NHS bowel cancer helpline on 0800 707 6060.