Extension of bowel cancer screening programme

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The age range for bowel cancer screening has been increased in the Isle of Man.

Since 2011 test kits have been distributed to Island residents in their sixties. Samples are sent to the UK for screening and any positive results followed-up with further tests.

From 1 January 2014 the screening was extended to men and women until their 75th birthday, bringing the Island’s programme in line with the English NHS.

Anyone aged over 75 can request a free screening kit by calling Freephone 0800 707 6060.

Local resident Mr Jimmy Kneen, who had cancer detected through the screening programme said:

‘I firmly believe in the benefits of the Bowel Screening Programme and my own experience has inspired me to come forward and speak about this. I had no feeling of any symptoms whatsoever and there was no history of bowel cancer in my family, it was just something out of the blue. My message is that everyone who has the opportunity should take part in this screening programme. I understand that some people find it difficult to talk about and do, but the test was quite simple. Don’t have second thoughts about returning the kit – it’s absolutely stupid not to take part in the screening programme.’

Mr Kneen also spoke of his experience at Noble’s Hospital during his treatment:

‘I don’t believe the care I received at Noble’s Hospital could have been bettered by any hospital in Britain. I really cannot fault it.’

If you are aged under 60 and feel you need to be checked then you should contact your GP as soon as possible.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer deaths and when the screening programme began, claimed the lives of around 25 people in the Isle of Man each year.

Scotland offers the same screening service from 50 to 74.