Bowel Cancer Screening


The Surrey Bowel Cancer Centre

The Surrey Bowel Cancer Centre is part of the National Screening programme

The service operates as a joint venture between Frimley Park Hospital Foundation Trust and Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust.  It was also set-up in conjunction with the Surrey West Sussex & Hants (SWSH) Cancer Network and Surrey PCT to provide a service to cover the population of Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex borders (approx 1.5 million people).


What is the purpose of bowel cancer screening?

Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms), when treatment is more likely to be effective.

Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps. These are not cancers, but may develop into cancers over time. They can easily be removed, reducing the risk of bowel cancer developing.

What is the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme?

Bowel Screening Kit

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme offers screening every two years to all men and women aged 60 to 74.

People in this age group will automatically be sent an invitation, then their screening kit, so they can do the test at home.

After your first screening test, you will be sent another invitation and screening kit every two years until you reach 74.

If you are aged 74 or over, you can ask for a screening kit by calling the Freephone number: 0800 7076060

How does the screening test work?

The screening test detects tiny amounts of blood, which you cannot normally see, in your bowel motions. It is called the Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) test (‘occult blood’ means hidden blood).

Polyps and bowel cancers sometimes bleed, which is why we screen for blood in your bowel motions. 


The FOB test does not diagnose bowel cancer, but the results will tell you whether you need an examination of your bowel (a colonoscopy).

How is the screening (FOB) test carried out?

You carry out the FOB test in the privacy of your own home. The screening kit provides a simple way for you to collect small samples of your bowel motions. You wipe the samples on a special card, which you then send in a hygienically sealed Freepost envelope to a laboratory for testing.

There are detailed instructions with each kit.

You may think that doing the test sounds a bit embarrassing or unpleasant, but it will only take a few minutes and it is an effective way to detect bowel cancer early.

Is screening for bowel cancer important?

  • About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime.
  • It is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 16,000 people dying from it each year (Cancer Research UK, 2005. Cancerstats).
  • Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16% (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2006. Screening for colorectal cancer using the faecal occult blood test: an update).

Bowel Cancer Screening Service provision in Surrey

Screening clinics run by the Specialist Screening Practitioners (SSP’s) currently run on the following sites:

  • Royal Surrey County Hospital
  • Frimley Park Hospital
  • Woking Community Hospital
  • Greystone House GP Surgery, Redhill

 Screening colonoscopies are provided on two sites.

  • Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust
  •  Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Bowel Cancer Screening Service contact information

Tel 01483 408357

Fax 01483 408358

NHS Pathology website

Please click on the logo to the right to visit the Surrey NHS Pathology Services website

Enquiries 0845 658 9622