It is important to remember that bowel cancer screening can save lives. The objective is to detect bowel cancer at an early stage, when treatment has the best chance of working. The test can also find polyps (non-cancerous growths) which might develop into cancer; these polyps can be easily removed, to lower the risk of disease.
The two main tests involved in screening of this type are the following:
Stool testing, also called faecal occult blood testing (FOB), is a test used to detect hidden blood in your stool. The Spanish Cancer Association has worked towards this type of testing being available for all, as it is a simple and effective tool for the control of this disease.
This test can sometimes avoid other more complex tests such as a colonoscopy and can help avoid the disease extending to other parts of the body. The high-risk group is considered to be persons aged between 50-69 years old.
When hidden blood is found in a stool test, it is necessary to carry out further tests to find the source of the bleeding. One of the most common tests is a colonoscopy that uses a narrow, flexible, telescopic camera to detect possible pre-cancerous polyps or the presence of a tumour. According to the Spanish Cancer Association, an estimated 90% of bowel cancer could be cured if diagnosed and treated in its early stages.