Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer.
About the national NHS bowel cancer screening programme
Bowel screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms) when treatment is more likely to be effective.
Faecal occult blood test (FOBt) programme
You will be sent a faecal occult blood sampling kit and instructions about how to take a sample. You will also receive instructions about how to send the sample to a laboratory.
If there is a positive result, you will be referred for investigations at your local screening centre.
Where we are
The bowel cancer screening programme is delivered from a hub in Guildford (for invitations and home tests) and then your local hospital provides the clinical aspects of the pathway.
We host the screening centre for the Sussex Bowel Cancer Screening Programme with screening sites at:
- Royal Sussex County Hospital
- Conquest Hospital Hastings, East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust
- Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath
- Bexhill Hospital, East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust (clinic only)
- Eastbourne District Hospital, East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust (colonoscopy only)
- Worthing Hospital
- St Richard’s Hospital
At the screening centre, we:
- run screening nurse clinics, colonoscopy clinics and book and run follow-up clinics
- provide alternative investigations where colonoscopy is not appropriate
- provides pathology services
- refers those requiring treatment for cancer to their local colorectal multi-disciplinary team.
The hub in Guildford:
- issues invitations and assembles and dispatches test kits
- runs a laboratory to process test kits
- provides a free telephone helpline for the public (0800 707 60 60)
- dispatches test results
- facilitates polyp surveillance for screening patients.
What happens next?
If you receive positive test result you will be invited to attend a nurse clinic appointment, within 14 days of positive result, for full discussion of the next steps of the process. This appointment will include an explanation of the investigative procedure to be undertaken, usually a colonoscopy, which will also be within 14 days of your clinic appointment.
The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath and the Conquest Hospital in Hastings are accredited endoscopy units who provide colonoscopy for patients referred through the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. Nurse led clinics are held at these sites in addition to Hove Poly clinic and Uckfield Community Hospital.
Free national helpline 0800 707 60 60